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We developed this magnetically-levitated model train for an entrepreneurship course. Two yttrium barium copper oxide superconductors in the train repel the train away from a track made of rare earth magnets. The train contains a reservoir of liquid nitrogen to keep the superconductors cold. We made the plastic train body with a rapid prototyping machine and outfitted it with a rechargeable battery and a remote-controlled propeller.
The superconductors levitate because of the Meissner effect. Essentially, the superconductors create their own magnetic fields in an attempt to exactly cancel the field produced by the permanent magnets in the track. The result is that the superconductors behave as if they have magnets inside them, and these magnets are pushed away from the track magnets. This only works if the superconductors are cold, so the superconductors eventually heat up and fall down if they're not kept under liquid nitrogen.
Originally posted by dethduck
Wow. Just, wow.
Originally posted by Ha`la`tha
reply to post by pforkp
Not sure what practical applications it can be used for,
Well, for starters, a low power, high efficiency mag-lev train system.
If you think gasoline is getting expensive, just wait until you try to start buying an endless supply of liquid nitrogen, and installing magnets under the roads you want to drive on.
Originally posted by pforkp
I Want This On My Car, NOW
You don't have to type 2nd. Jost dont make the first line "I agree" or something equally trite and a one liner is ok.
Originally posted by boncho
It would make an interesting coaster for my beer.