How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 1072

How fast can maglev trains travel? — AP
As long as the track is straight enough that the train doesn't experience severe accelerations up, down, left, or right, there is no limit to how fast it can go. In fact, the levitation process becomes more and more energy efficient as the speed increases. However, the moving train does experience a pressure drag force (a type of air resistance) that increases roughly as the square of the train's speed. The power needed to overcome this drag force increases as the cube of the train's speed, making it impractical to propel the train forward above a certain speed.

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