Physics of Maglev Trains (EMS & EDS)
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Physics of Maglev Trains (EMS & EDS)

October 10, 2019

Behind me stands Milsons point train
station like all other train stations around the
world it is a vital link for transporting people as they carry out
their daily lives; but as we strive for a ever quicker
future, the trains that have been transporting us for centuries are no longer able to
keep up. The problem? Friction. The solution? Maglev. The vision
of Maglev began in the early 20th century with two men: Robert Goddard and Emily Bachelet. Their
dream was to develop a transistor that was faster, safer and more reliable. Thus, they turned to Electromagnets. Since then, China Japan and South Korea have all joined the race to develop the fastest Maglev systems. But what exactly is it that allows these
trains to move so quickly? In short, the answer lies in
electromagnetism; however, there are currently two very
different systems of Maglev that provide suspension in two very
different ways. The first is called electromagnetic
suspension and is used in the current German transrapid systems. EMS uses the
attractive forces between iron core electromagnets and ferromagnetic rails.
Electromagnets, that have current flowing through them, are first placed on the
underside of the carriage, which creates a magnetic field that is attracted to
the stationary ferromagnetic reaction rails that are installed on the
underside of the guideway. This attraction results in a distance of just
10 millimeters between the stator and support magnet, which allows the carriage
to hover 150 millimeters above the top of the guideway. The train is
propelled by the support magnets on the carriage which provide an alternating
current that works to create a series of attractive poles and repelling poles,
resulting in forward movement. The second system is electrodynamic
suspension and is currently used in prototype Japanese SC maglev trains. EDS
relies on the principle of super conductivity, whereby super
conducting materials are cooled to extremely low temperatures. The
superconducting materials are placed on the side of the train carriage and
interact with figure eight shaped coils on the side of the guideway. When the coils
experience the changing magnetic field of the superconductor’s motion (as the
train moves) two currents are induced that oppose the change in magnetic field: one
below, that creates a reactive magnetic field that opposes the superconducting
magnet’s pole, and one above that creates a pole that
attracts it. Thus, the two forces work together to
achieve an approximate levitation of 10 centimeters above the guideway.
Propulsion is achieved by a linear synchronous motor, consisting of
additional coils in the guideway that provide a three-phase alternating
current. The magnetic field created by the superconductor then interacts with
this magnetic field to propel it forward. Now that we have explored how Magev works, it is time to discuss exactly why it is
better. The problem with traditional trains is
that energy is lost through friction. Maglev trains on the other hand address this
problem by eliminating contact with the guideway entirely. Thus, they have longer lifetimes, lower
operating costs and are able to travel significantly faster and quieter than
traditional trains. Furthermore, EMS trains have the added
advantage of reduced civilian exposure to magnetic fields when compared with EDS. EDS, on the other hand, is potentially safer, as
they do not crash immediately into the guideway in the event of a power outage. However, they do not come without
shortcomings. For EMS systems, expensive processing computers are needed to
ensure that the carriages do not move too close to the guideway. For EDS
systems, the cooling of superconducting magnets creates a significant energy
cost that decreases its economic viability. There is no doubt that as our society
continues to grow train stations like this will become obsolete. Although the cost of building Maglev trains and its accompanying infrastructure is expensive, the speed, efficiency and safety they provide will ultimately become vital as we look toward an ever faster, ever cheaper future.


  • Reply Zainul J. April 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    so does that mean in eds, the train solely levitate through the supercooled superconductor from the side of the train? or is there anything that also makes it levitate on the track like the ems?

  • Reply Sarah Alsabbagh May 7, 2016 at 12:51 am

    great video ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply sahil singh September 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Are guiding magnets in ems repelling?

  • Reply Dominique Yap September 28, 2016 at 10:32 am

    That was very enlightening, but weighing the short term costs with long term benefits, how feasible do you think it is for governments to replace traditional trains with EMS & EDS systems?

  • Reply Aadrio VIJAY October 4, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    is it possible to take off and landing in aircrafts using maglev effect??

  • Reply avery c October 28, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Great project!

  • Reply Mister Whispers November 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Nice video man

  • Reply Laura Bowers January 10, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    My students watched this video as a classroom assignment. When they used closed captioning, foul language appeared at minute 4:20 that does not match the words spoken in the video.

  • Reply Rahul Asthana India February 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    coming soon :- maglev train in INDIA

  • Reply Patricia Genevieve Delos Santos March 1, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Hi great video :)))… may i ask questions about maglev trains? :D….. How is a maglev train much more efficient than any other ground transportations and conventional trains? How does it differ to planes/jet planes? What do you think are the advantages of maglev trains to public commuters? How safe it is traveling on maglev train? What is the mechanism of maglev trains and how does it run? What is maglev train mainly made out of? And is it really reliable to public commuters? please answer me please i need help for my research paper, please and thank you so much!!! :)))

  • Reply saumya tripathi March 13, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Your video was very useful in understanding how maglev train works.

  • Reply Mel Ramos March 22, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I loved!

  • Reply Stephen Leach April 1, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Very high standard of production which you are to be congratulated for.
    Just one whinge though with your background showing that you shot the video in Sydney could we have the use of millimetres and metres as Australia has been moving to the use of metric units since about 1974 which means to me no use of cms………….. grrrr….

  • Reply Soumil Sharma May 13, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Hey i wanted to do a project similar to this, i was just wondering what animation software did u use

  • Reply yolobartensen May 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    How does the train break? Do the magnets chance states slower?

  • Reply CineRaphael June 3, 2017 at 1:22 am

    So Maglev is not Monorail

  • Reply Simon Talbot July 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Damn good high school assignment

  • Reply Bayu Gilang Permana July 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    nice video man. i have a question. if the train take a turn why it didn't touch the side of the track since it move at high speed and when the train take a turn it will produce a high force?. sorry for my english

  • Reply HapZungLam August 27, 2017 at 2:01 am

    how do you stop a floating train?

  • Reply Nur Jannah Mazlan September 10, 2017 at 10:35 am


  • Reply Jesusreignonhigh September 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    A third method is halbach array with Lenz' law.

  • Reply Carl Harrington October 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Nice video Lucas. Just one thing. Get a lapel mic for when you're in noisy areas.

  • Reply Michael Ligot October 16, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Had no idea there were two different types of maglev trains. Thanks for the education.

  • Reply Marko November 5, 2017 at 4:07 pm


  • Reply johnny mansfield November 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    The solution? Maglev, yeah, THATS RIGHT THE MAGLEV

  • Reply Tim Bo November 9, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Not bad but there is a basic flaw: Rolling resistance on railways is trivial. IIRC at 300kph 95% of the energy is to overcome wind resistance. Maglevs donโ€™t escape this problem. Thatโ€™s why Hyperloop is going in a tube. The advantage of maglev is elsewhere.

    Germany should have been given shout out for the Transrapid.

    Keep it up.

  • Reply BigBoi 101 November 27, 2017 at 11:49 am

    :kill me
    :big head me
    :undbig head meme

  • Reply Christine Jones December 5, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Umm…., where's the train?

  • Reply Ashish Patole December 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Future needs Magnetic Levitation Building hanging on Astroid within Vacuum Tube Transportation System (Hyperloop), Solar City into Space Planets etc. NASA, ISRO, SpaceX or CNSA must try this as next mission.

  • Reply My Opinion Doesn't Matter December 22, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Tripod? Cool animations ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Liquid Bacon January 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm


  • Reply aragornx 503 January 22, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Fantastic !! Thanks to you I have understand all I want to learn on this technologies !!!

  • Reply William O'Brien February 1, 2018 at 12:03 am


  • Reply hiruma1002 February 6, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Nice video ! I'm student in hight school, can I use your slide show or the video to my project ?

  • Reply harry hardcastle February 20, 2018 at 7:17 pm


  • Reply RedMetalic RobotDemon March 25, 2018 at 12:39 am

  • Reply Gab Reyes April 3, 2018 at 2:27 am

    It's amazing how magnets can be turned into a suspension and can levitate even it has a massive weight.

  • Reply Plutoboy85 April 16, 2018 at 4:17 am

    Does Maglev work in colder climates. Heavy snowfall is a drag.

  • Reply Arsalan Ahmed April 30, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    all you had to do was follow the maglev train CJ!!

  • Reply Ashman6 May 8, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Great video my dude

  • Reply wtficantgetausername May 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    This is pretty well done

  • Reply mo macaroni June 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    What's with the big fuss over Elon musk loop/hyperloop system that currently only goes 200 MPH in America when seems better and faster

  • Reply Fashion Review July 14, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I barely understood anything

  • Reply gue st August 3, 2018 at 7:09 pm


  • Reply Attiladesigner22 August 26, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Conclusion as per usual: money… Sometimes I'm disqusted by society.

  • Reply Rowan Duvekot September 28, 2018 at 2:34 am

    We thank you, Charlie McLeod, for your emotional support.

  • Reply Stephen Miller October 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Great, they certainly have potential, the problem is, will they compete with rail as far as construction costs are concerned

  • Reply who8myfish October 5, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Pro-tip: There is no such thing as an expensive computer system. CPU power is practically free and software is expensive to develop but can be reused infinitely.

  • Reply tanjiraporn matpohg November 2, 2018 at 5:07 am


  • Reply Abiel Ar November 3, 2018 at 1:33 am

    Good explanation bro

  • Reply Elii November 4, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    "special thanks to charlie mcleod for emotional support … " Lmaooo

  • Reply Jaya prakash Pinisetty November 12, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Nice video

  • Reply Linus Cheng November 15, 2018 at 6:08 am

    This was a high school assignment?! He killed it! The BBC should give him a contract yesterday.

  • Reply Hugo Strasser November 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Why did you plagiarize this video? It is the exact same as Lucas Humbels video. I'm reporting you

  • Reply Jesse Watt January 1, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    really cool video thanks

  • Reply prasad koranne February 6, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Reverse Polarity

  • Reply Pam Simonson February 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    You're a great speaker.

  • Reply rdgk1se3019 February 28, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    The sound lets low after 1:00

  • Reply Venom Animation March 6, 2019 at 4:47 am

    Both of them (EMS & EDS) need to have a high budget operating system. DAYUM, what a rich country.

  • Reply Shawn Hwang March 10, 2019 at 11:53 am

    great video

  • Reply Spammer Man March 23, 2019 at 4:32 am

    This video explained maglevs better than just about every articles I came across.

    (Also here for physics research)

  • Reply Iskander A March 28, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Do u think its actually gonna happen in uk?

  • Reply anung gaming April 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Physics of Maglev Trains, great video

  • Reply Ved Dave May 1, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    If there is an attractive force between iron rails and electromagts why do they not stick ?

  • Reply Nathan Xanthakos May 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    damn very nice video explains everything very well thanks helped me out a lot with my phycis test

  • Reply Orlando ROFE June 10, 2019 at 4:52 am

    like if you are watching in 2019

  • Reply Flan June 23, 2019 at 2:42 am

    very well done video

  • Reply Wayudi Setiawan July 4, 2019 at 1:11 am

    Ga guna

  • Reply Wahid Hasyim July 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm from indonesia.

  • Reply J&S Stopmotion August 4, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Use goddamn stabilisation

  • Reply little anya August 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    thanks for the video, it helps me a lot

  • Reply Davidson Vincent August 16, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Thanks so much for this enlightenment.

  • Reply Ashish Yadav August 19, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Good explanation.

  • Reply Our Palawan Experience August 23, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Good video..the sound man sucked though…

  • Reply Sabina Malkani September 2, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Excellent video. Can you edit it to remove the music when you are speaking? If it was more clear, I would have used it for science lessons taught in my district.

  • Reply Tebogo Maleka September 4, 2019 at 1:55 am

    1:37 i think you mean they should repel

  • Reply UNiCoRn PeGaSuS September 22, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    China copied western and japanese tech

  • Reply The Duke 71000 71000 September 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    MAGLEV's have been around for decades, and haven't replaced railways for the simple reason that they do NOT run on two rails. Trying to build points for the gigantic concrete support structures that MAGLEV's have to run on means it becomes astronomically expensive, and makes MAGLEV's operationally inflexible in moving large quantities of people.

  • Reply Lea Schmitt October 9, 2019 at 11:46 am

    i have to build a tiny one for an engineering assignment, dis gonna be fun

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