May 12th, 2016 at 10:34 AM ^

You're not going to get people on a train that has 2.4Gs of acceleration. Even transporting stuff... that's nuts.

Reaching the top speed graudally? sure. But that seems like a big problem for me


May 12th, 2016 at 10:57 AM ^

2.4 Gs is high but not insane. A commercial aircraft peak g-force is maybe 1.5. A Ferrari's ~ 1. And, the peak acceleration could of course be limited to whatever is determined to be acceptable. Furthermore, the number reported here is all but meaningless to us since this is an open-air test (not vacuum) and this is just the propulsion system/carriage, i.e., there is no payload (mass).

The Mad Hatter

May 12th, 2016 at 10:43 AM ^

People have been kicking it around for a while, but I'll be interested in seeing the thing in action.  The real thing, in the vacuum tube, not whatever this test was.

Question for those smarter than me....

Could something like this go faster than the speed of sound without generating a shockwave, since it's operating in a vacuum?

Michigan Shirt

May 12th, 2016 at 11:30 AM ^

There would be no shockwaves from this setup due to no medium of propagation of the wave (air).

Interestingly, I tried to search this online to confirm this and the closest thing I could find of a shockwave that would be similar to breaking the speed of sound was when the Earth passes through solar wind it creates shockwaves due to their being some propagation medium, even if it's too small for us to feel. Explosions would create pressure shockwaves of a sort in a vacuum, but not the same as breaking the speed of sound.


May 12th, 2016 at 10:50 AM ^

They might get more funding and government cooperation if they started in Vegas and went to LA.  I'm sure the casinos would kick in some for that route.