Explaining Super Fast, Super Floaty Maglev(itation) Trains
Maglev trains. Why are they so cool? Well, for starters, they float.
The idea of levitating trains have been around since the '60's. The first commercially available levitator was introduce in 1984, Birmingham, England. The fastest known floating train is Japan's JR-Maglev, reaching speeds of 581 km/h.
So how does it work? How did they do it?
The WOW Lab at McGill University's built their own "Mini-Maglev" Bladerunner-esque train, and made a demonstrative video breakdown of the science behind the magic.
The floating train uses superconducting disks that are cooled with liquid nitrogen to less than -166°C. When cooled to this temperature, magnetic fields can no longer penetrate the superconductor. This is known as the Meissner Effect. When placed on top of a track of neodymium magnets, three magnets wide, it hovers above, gliding effortlessly along the track. Check out the prototype that started it all.