Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/721

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Five Hundred Miles an Hour

An electromagnetic method of transporting you through a vacuum from New York to San Francisco in half a day

By Boris Weinberg

Professor of Physics in the Technological Institute of Tomsk, Siberia

Professor Weinberg prepared the following article for POPULAR SCIENCE Monthly at the editor's request. It is the only one he has permitted to appear on the remarkable electromagnetic transportation system that he discussed before the Engineering Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. — EDITOR.

AFTER CLOSING FIRST DOOR AIR IS EXHAUSTED FROM THIS CHAMBER

DOOR RAISED TO ADMIT LOADED TRUCK

HERMETICALLY SEALED CAR ACCOMODATlNG ONE PASSENGER BEING LOADED ON RAIL TRUCK.

MAGNETICALLY SUSPENDED CAR RUSHING FORWARD IN VACUUM

Starting off on a journey through the vacuum tube. The cars are cylindrical in shape and carry one passenger each

LIGHT travels at the rate of one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second. That is the highest velocity that theoretically can ever be attained not only by any material bodies, but even by isolated electrons — atoms of electricity. In comparison, racing aeroplanes which are credited with speeds of one hundred and fifty miles an hour, seem snail-like. The fastest artificial thing is a bullet as it leaves the muzzle of a rifle, although its speed is only three thousand miles an hour. Small as that is when compared with the velocity of light, still it proves that the railway train and the aeroplane by no means represent the limit of terrestrial possibilities.

To attain speed, however low, energy must be expended not only to start the motion of a body but to overcome the resistance of the air and friction against the train caused by gravitation. The resistance

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