Experimenting with a Superconducting Levitation Train

  • Santosh Miryala 1.St. Mary’s International School
  • M. R. Koblischka Saarland University

Abstract

The construction and operation of a prototype high-Tc superconducting train model is presented. The train is levitated by a melt-processed GdBa2Cu3Ox (Gd-123) superconducting material over a magnetic rail (track). The oval shaped track is constructed in S-N-S or PM3N configuration arranged on an iron plate. The train bodies are constructed with FRP sheets forming a vessel to maintain the temperature of liquid nitrogen. The superconductors are field-cooled on the magnetic track, which provides a large stability of the levitation due to strong flux pinning of the melt-processed superconductors. The setup enables to test parameters like stability, speed, and safety, of the superconducting train for various gaps (ranging between 1 mm to 15 mm) between the train and the magnetic track. The experimental results indicate that trains with 1 to 2 mm gaps cannot run properly due to the friction applied to the track. The trains with 10 or 15 mm gaps do not run stable on the track. Our results confirm that a gap of 5 mm is the optimum distance to run the train showing also stability to run fast on the track. The present results clearly demonstrate that the stability of the superconducting trains depends on the gap between the rail and train, which is an important parameter also for the real Maglev trains.

References

Bednorz, J.G., Müller, K.A. (1986). Possible high-Tc superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O system. Z. Phys. B 64, 189–193.
Brandt, E.H. (1988). Friction in levitated superconductors. Appl. Phys. Lett. 53, 1554–1556.
Del-Valle N., Sanchez A., Navau C., Chen D.X., (2008). A theoretical study of the influence of superconductor and magnet dimensions on the levitation force and stability of maglev systems. Superconductor. Sci. Technol. 21, 125008.
Del-Valle, N., Sanchez, A., Navau, C., Chen, D.X. (2009). Theoretical hints for optimizing force and stability in actual maglev devices, IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 19, 2070- 2074.
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2014). Centrum für Nanoanalytik. http://cfn.physik.uni-saarland.de/
Koblischka, M.R. (2008). Magnetic properties of high-Tc superconductors. Oxford, U.K., Alpha Science.
Muralidhar, M., Suzuki, K., Ishihara, A., Jirsa, M., Fukumoto, Y., Tomita, M. (2010). Novel seeds applicable for mass processing of LRE-123 single-grain bulks, Supercond. Sci. Technol. 23, 124003.
Strehlow C.P., Sullivan M.C., (2009). A classroom demonstration of levitation and suspension of a superconductor over a magnetic track. Am. J. Phys. 77, 847–851.
Tinkham, M. (1996). Introduction to Superconductivity. 2nd ed., Mineola, NY, Dover.
Weinstein, R., Chen, I. G., Liu, J., Xu, J., Obot, V., & Foster, C. (1993). Permanent magnets of high-­‐Tc superconductors. Journal of applied physics, 73(10), 6533-6535.
Tomita, M., Murakami, M. (2003). High-temperature superconductor bulk magnets that can trap magnetic fields of over 17 tesla at 29 K. Nature, 421, 517–520.
Published
2017-02-28
How to Cite
MIRYALA, Santosh; KOBLISCHKA, M. R.. Experimenting with a Superconducting Levitation Train. European Journal of Physics Education, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 4, p. 1-9, feb. 2017. ISSN 1309-7202. Available at: <http://eu-journal.org/index.php/EJPE/article/view/71>. Date accessed: 01 feb. 2023.
Section
Articles