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.doc  MAGLEV REPORT 5th grade 2011.doc (Size: 1.75 MB / Downloads: 303)
As the world continues to grow and as cities continues to become more crowded and congested, our normal modes of transportation will not be able to handle these overpopulated areas. The answer to this transportation problem lies in the world of electro magnetism and superconducting magnets. Electromagnets and superconducting magnets have allowed us to create a magnetic levitation train nicknamed “MAGLEV” that floats on the track instead of being directly on it. This has a lot of potential to create trains that are fast with low maintenance requirements.
This experiment in an attempt to make a levitation train; propose of this project is to find the effect of load or total weight on the friction force in a levitation train. In regular cars trains and boats the friction will increase with load. We are wondering is the same will happen with the levitation trains.
Using two long magnetic strips as rails; glue them to a long piece of wood (as a base or ground) in a way that the North side of the magnetic strip stays up and also using a smaller piece of wood as a train and in the same way glue two magnetic strips at the bottom of the train. If the train is placed on the rail it should levitate because the North Pole of rail and train magnets is faced to each other. The train might slide to the left or right and that also can be controlled by side rails.
The experiment demonstrates the like poles repelling principle of magnetism. The repelling force of two magnets when same poles face each other varies by the distance of magnets. The repelling force increases when two magnets get closer to each other. Magnet levitation has practical application to today's technologically-advanced world as maglev trains glide above magnetically charged-tracks at high speeds and the trains have less wear and tear as there are no tracks to create the friction.
1. How does the magnetic levitation train work?
2. How are the magnets used in magnetic levitation train?
3. How the repelling force of two magnets is affected by their distance?
4. How does the weight or load on a train affect the force needed to pull the train?
5. Does the total load or weight of the train affect the travel distance?
6. Currently, what are the countries with this type on trains?
5.1.1 Independent Variable:
The weight on the friction force (Weight on the train).
5.1.2 Dependent Variable: The force in which two magnets are repelled from each other and help to pull or push the train; And the distance between magnets with similar poles faced to each other.
Find if the repelling force multiplies as distance reduces. The multiplication factor is probably very high because when the magnets get very close, it will be very hard to keep them together. And find the effect of load or total weight on the friction force in a levitation train. In regular cars, trains and boats the friction will increase with load. More loads on the train will increase the friction forces needed to pull the train.
6.1 Magnets

Magnets have fascinated people for thousands of years. In ancient times, natural magnetism sometimes was observed to occur in iron more due to large deposits of ore magnetite that became magnetized by the Earth’s magnetic field. One such field is neat a city in Asia Minor; called Magnesia, close to the modern Turkish town of Soke. Magnetite masses crystals or sand also can be found in Italy, South Africa, Sweden, and parts of the United States.
Natural magnets are called lodestones and often were considered magical.
These stones are grayish-black and composed of a magnetic iron mineral, called magnetite, which is compound of iron and oxygen.
All magnets have at least one south pole like poles of magnets repel each other. The magnets’ strength of attraction or repulsion depends on the intensity of the magnetic field. A magnetic field is a range of imaginary lines of attractive or repulsive forces that, for example, indicate the direction a compass needle will point.
Planet earth has one pole in the Northern Hemisphere and another in the Southern Hemisphere, and each point attracts one end of a compass needle while repelling the opposite end of compass.
Magnets can be made by placing a magnetic material such as iron or steel, in a strong magnetic field. Permanent, temporary and electromagnets can be made in this manner
The atoms forming materials that can be easily magnetized such as iron, steel, nickel, and cobalt are arranged in small units, called domains. Each domain, although microscopic in size, contains millions of billions of atoms and each domain acts like a small magnet. If a magnetic material is placed in a strong magnetic field, the individual domains, which normally point in all directions, gradually swing around into the direction of the field. They also take over neighboring domains. When most of the domains are aligned in the field, the material becomes a magnet.
Before Magnetization
After Magnetization
6.1.1 Temporary magnets
Soft iron and certain iron alloys, such as perm alloy (a mixture of iron and nickel) can be very easily magnetized, even in a weak field. As soon as the field is removed, however, the magnetism is lost. These materials make excellent temporary magnets that are used in telephones and electric motors for example.
6.1.2 Permanent magnets
Other kinds of alloys such as alnico (an alloy of aluminum, nickel, iron, cobalt), make excellent permanent magnets. Ferrites (ceramic like materials made of iron oxides with nickel and cobalt) also make excellent permanent magnets. In these materials the domains are more difficult to dislodge, once they are aligned.
6.1. 3 Electromagnets
Electromagnets are used when really strong magnets are required. Electromagnets are produced by placing a metal core (usually an iron alloy) inside a coil of wire carrying an electric current. The electricity in the coil produces a magnetic field. Its strength depends on the strength of the electric current and the number of coils of wire. Its polarity depends on the direction of the current flow. While the current flows, the core behaves like a magnet, but as soon as the current stops, the magnetic properties are lost. Electric motors, televisions, maglev trains, telephones, computers and many other modern devices use electromagnets.
6.1. 4 Superconductors
These are the strongest magnets. They don't need a metal core at all, but are made of coils of wire made from special metal alloys which become superconductors when cooled to very low temperatures.
6.2 How did it all begin?
There are many legends accounting for the discovery of magnets. One of the most common is that of an elderly shepherd named Magnets, who was herding his sheep in an area of Northern Greece called Magnesia, about 4,000 years ago. It is said that both the nails in his shoes and the metal tip of his staff became firmly stuck to the large, black rock on which he was standing. This type of rock was subsequently named magnetite, after either Magnesia or Magnets himself.
Stories of magnetism date back to the first century B.C in the writings of Lucretius, and the magical powers of magnetite are mentioned in the writings of Pliny the Elder. For many years following its discovery, magnetite was surrounded in superstition and was considered to possess magical powers, such as the ability to heal the sick, frighten away evil spirits and attract and dissolve ships made of iron! Unlike amber (fossilized tree resin), magnetite was able to attract objects without first being rubbed. This made magnetite far more magical. People soon realized that magnetite not only attracted objects made of iron, but when made into the shape of a needle and floated on water, magnetite always pointed in a north-south direction creating a primitive compass. This led to an alternative name for magnetite, that of lodestone or "leading stone".
6.3 Who discovered magnets?
The first attempt to separate fact from superstition came in 1269, when a soldier named Peter Peregrinus wrote a letter describing everything that was known, at that time, about magnetite. It is said that he did this while standing guard outside the walls of Lucera which was under siege. While people were starving to death inside the walls, Peter Peregrinus was outside writing one of the first 'scientific' reports and one that was to have a vast impact on the world. It wasn't until the experiments of William Gilbert in 1600 that significant progress was made in the understanding of magnetism and it was another century or so before other scientists began, by experimentation, to understand the phenomenon.
6.4. Scientists who helped us to understand magnets
It was William Gilbert who first realized that the Earth was a giant magnet and that magnets could be made by beating wrought iron. He also discovered that the induced magnetism was lost if the iron was heated. In 1820, Hans Christian Øersted, demonstrated for the first time (at a public lecture), that there was a relationship between electricity and magnetism.
6.4.1 Magnetite
Magnetite is found in rock strata associated with iron deposits and has been found in the ocean floor dating from 2 to 55 million years old. Magnetite is magnetic because its molecular structure has allowed it to retain the alignment of particles caused by the Earth's magnetic field during its formation millions of years ago. When heated to high temperatures magnetite loses its natural magnetism. Not all iron deposits are magnetic, however, which for many years posed a question. Why magnetite is only formed in certain iron deposits? Recently an interesting theory has emerged concerning an anaerobic bacterium, GS-15, which has been shown to convert ferric oxide into magnetite. It is thought that GS-15 could be responsible for the creation of magnetite layers in many iron formations.
6.4.2 Magnetic force fields
The area of force (magnetic field) surrounding a piece of magnetite or a bar magnet can be represented (visualized) by the lines of force as shown below, although these lines are no more real than the lines of latitude and longitude on a map or globe.

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