The fastest train in the world – Complete Physics
In this post, we will know about the Complete Physics if Fastest train in the world, So let’s Start, Magnetically levitated trains are common nowadays, however, the maglev train the central japan railway company developed is quite unique and superior to the other trains running at more than 600 kilometers per hour it has achieved the status of the fastest train this train uses superconducting magnets which is why it is called sc maglev.
once charged with an exciting current the superconducting magnets of this train produce a circulating dc current and strong magnetic field forever with zero loss let’s understand more about the successfully tested train technology which is projected to overtake other magnetic levitation technologies by the year 2027.
The same technology is poised to connect new york city to Washington dc in just one hour by 2030.
To successfully operate a magnetically levitated train we have to achieve the following three objectives
However, before we get into the details of how the sc maglev train achieves these objectives let’s study the heart of this train.
The superconducting magnets
levitating trains require enormously powerful electromagnets the stronger the magnets the more lift force and propelling force they have resulting in higher train speed a normal electromagnet is not able to increase the current value beyond a certain limit due to the heating issue.
in the superconducting electromagnets, the temperature of the conductor is lowered below a critical limit after this the material suddenly produces a huge amount of current flow with zero resistance that result is exactly what we want the interesting thing is that you only need to charge the superconducting coil once using an exciting current in order for the short-circuited coils to produce a circulating dc current forever with no energy loss.
the current circulated by the superconducting coils is huge, 700-kilo amperes almost 10,000 times the current value of the conventional household copper gauge wires the superconducting electromagnets are obviously the most powerful and efficient electromagnets, the challenge is to keep the coils in a superconducting stage for this purpose an onboard liquid helium refrigeration system is used the superconductor in the sc maglev train is a niobium-titanium alloy which has a critical temperature of 9.2 kelvin to keep the alloy temperature below
this limit liquid helium at a temperature of 4.5 kelvin is circulated around it after passing over the conductor the liquid helium evaporates to bring it back to the initial stage a helium compressor and refrigeration unit is used the refrigeration unit works on the principle of Gilford McMahon refrigeration cycle.
still the cryogenic department’s engineering task is not finished yet the superconductor can absorb heat from outside in the form of radiation to prevent this absorption from occurring a radiation shield is added around it however during the operation of the trains any current formation and heating issues can happen in this shield to neutralize this heating the radiation shield also needs cooling which is achieved by supplying liquid nitrogen to the unit to prevent convective heat transfer a vacuum is maintained inside the radiation shield four such superconductors with opposing current polarity are arranged in a unit although in an sc maglev
the electromagnets work without any power supply the cryogenics department demands a good amount of power such many units are attached along the length of the train on both sides as mentioned the first task is propulsion propelling the train forward is an easy task for this purpose we use a series of normal electromagnets they are called propelling coils.
the propelling coils are powered in an alternative manner as shown and are placed inside a guideway next we need to find out the force the propelling coils are producing on the train’s superconducting magnets please note that to understand the direction of force one magnet produces on the other you just have to consider the nearest poles in this way
let’s analyze the force acting on the superconducting coils due to the propelling coils
if you take the result of all these forces the net force will be in the forward direction so the train moves forward as soon as the train reaches the next mean position switch the electromagnets to the alternate polarity so that the net force is again in the forward direction just by controlling the frequency of this switching you can control the train speed
now let’s get to the most interesting part of this technology the levitation of the sc maglev trains you may be surprised to learn that the sc maglev train’s levitation is achieved with the help of these simple figure-eight shaped coils which are not even powered many such eight-figure shaped coils are arranged in the guideway to understand the levitation technology we should first learn something about.
The nature of a pair of superconducting magnets
the resultant magnetic field produced by this pair of sc magnets is very similar to a long permanent magnet so for simplification of the analysis let’s replace this pair with a long bar magnet if a bar magnet moves parallel to these figure eight-shaped coils can you predict what will happen the varying magnet flux will induce emf on both the loops according to faraday’s law
are these EMFs in the same direction
please note that this is a twisted coil only when we unwind it will we understand the right direction it is clear the induced emfs are opposite in direction which means net emf induced on this coil due to the bar magnet movement is zero and no current will flow through the loop in short a bar magnet moving through the center of the loop won’t have any effect on the loop now consider the same case but this time the magnet is slightly offset to the loop as shown.
here the bottom loop faces magnetic flux of higher strength which means the emf induced on the bottom loop will be higher than on the top this higher strength also means that a net current will flow through the loop this current flow produces a south pole on the top loop and a north pole on the bottom loop if you analyze the force interaction between the magnetic poles it’s clear that a resultant upward force is imposed on the superconducting magnet if this force is more than the gravitational pull the magnet will move up, yes movement of a superconducting magnet parallel and offset to a figure-eight shaped coil produces levitation.
as the magnet moves up the difference between emf values and the current flow in the loop reduces which means the force on the loop also reduces finally when the upward force becomes equal to the gravitational pull the magnet balances or the train has achieved levitation Japanese engineers achieved a levitation of 3.9 inches using this technology, clearly the higher the train speed the greater the levitation force which means that when the train is at rest it cannot levitate this is why the sc maglev train uses normal tires for starting and low-speed operation when the train achieves a critical speed the tires retract as the electromagnetic force is strong enough to levitate the train
next comes the question of train guidance
guidance means the train should always be centered it should move without hitting the sidewalls in other words it should achieve lateral stability japanese engineers achieve this stability quite easily by interconnecting the figure eight-shaped coils we saw earlier as shown if the train is in the center the induced emfs on the right and left coils will be equal and no current will flow through the interconnecting coils however suppose the train has moved slightly towards the right this shift will cause an emf difference between the right and left coils resulting in the interconnecting coils having a current flow the current flow through the interconnecting coils will drastically affect the current flow in both the bottom loops and thus the pole strength of each loop let’s analyze the forces acting on the train now
you can see that the vertical components of the forces remain the same but a net horizontal component manifests towards the left which forces the train to move back to the center as the train nears the center the currents in the interconnecting loops decrease and finally the horizontal component of the force disappears what an easy and brilliant mechanism to stabilize the train right, from the discussion so far you might understand that the cryogenic system of the train and the other electrical appliances of the train require a huge amount of electrical power.
How do you transfer electrical power to such a high-speed train
the central japan railway used a technique called inductive power collection for this purpose here using the principle of electromagnetic induction electric power is transferred from the ground coils to the power collection coil in the train without any material contact the strong magnetic field the superconducting magnets produce can have health hazards on passengers to avoid this unwanted effect magnetic shields are used on the rolling stock and passenger embarkation facility thus keeping the strength of the magnetic field below icn IRP guidelines sc maglev train test rides began in 1997 on the Yamanashi maglev test line the test rides were quite successful and continued for 10 consecutive years without missing a single day a world record speed of 603 kilometers per hour was achieved during this time.
these highly positive results encouraged the Japanese authorities and they granted permission to conduct commercial sc maglev operations between Tokyo and Nagoya by the year 2027 with more sc maglev trains to follow the sc maglev train technology revolves around the physics of superconductivity which is a crazy and amazing phenomenon to understand what superconductivity is in a logical way.