Electromagnetic Propulsion Technology Essay

Electromagnetic Propulsion Technology Essay.

Electromagnetic Propulsion Technology is based on the concepts and applications of electromagnets to enable propelling of an object. This is perhaps the most researched and worked on areas of electric propulsion with greatest possible application in public transport as well as advanced aerospace propulsion systems.

For public transport, it’s been a magnetic levitation technology which is also known as Maglev that has transformed the vary way of public transport. Electromagnetic Propulsion Technology based Magnetic levitation transport is a form of transportation that relies on electromagnetic force for suspension, guidance and propelling.

This technology when applied for mass transit system can enable transportation at 500 to 600 km/h (Bonsar, p1; Jahn & Choueiri, p134) .

As a concept, magnetic levitation train was developed by a German Scientist Hermann Kemper and on Aug. 14, 1934, the patent was granted. But it was in Britain, world’s first magnetic levitation service was introduced as a link between two terminals at Birmingham airport. The distance was of 400 meters with top speed at around 10-mph.

In Germany, the TRANSAPID project connects Berlin and Hamburg. The train will move with a speed of 292 kph and would cover the distance of 292 km in flat 60 minutes. In Japan, the advancements have led to the feasibility of moving trains at a speed of 500 kph and on a 7-km test track began in Miyazaki Prefecture, the manned two-car vehicle has been tested and found to register a speed of 400.8 kph in 1987 and a maximum speed of 531 kph in a manned vehicle run on December 12. Again in 1999, the train attained a maximum speed of 552 kph in a manned vehicle run (Maglev, p8).

Maglev follows the system levitation based vehicular movement on the guide way while using electromagnetic forces between super conducting magnets on the vehicle and coils on the ground. This enables the train to move or float about 10 mm above the guide way on a magnetic field. The train as whole is propelled by the guide way and hence there is no on board engine to pull the train. The whole pulling is enabled through the switching of magnetism.

Its basic principle could be understood with the help of magnets. As it is widely known that in case of magnets, you know that opposite poles attract and like poles repel. This principle of attraction and repulsion actually forms the basics behind electromagnetic propulsion based Maglev technology. Electromagnets are used in the above mentioned technology and temporary magnetic pull is created and objects are attraction through a small magnetic field. The three vital components to this system are:

A large electrical power source
Metal coils lining a guideway or track
Large guidance magnets attached to the underside of the train

­In the above mentioned list of components, one can figure out that the train doesn’t need any engine and hence this is the most important difference between the maglev trains and other conventional trains. The train as a whole is not pulled in a particular direction rather they are propelled and guided in the magnetic field created by electrified coils in the guideway walls and the track (Bonsor, p2).


As it has been already mentioned, Maglev is the short for magnetic levitation according to which floating and guiding of trains is enabled as per the principles of magnets. Maglev has its own set of advantages as well as disadvantages. The primary advantage of a maglev train is that of maintenance. As the train floats along and there is no contact with the ground and also there are no moving parts, the possibilities of any wear and tear get reduced. The trains as well the track would rarely need any maintenance and hence the higher cost of installation gets compensated in long run. Apart from this, the other important advantage is the total reduction of friction and noise which actually translates into high speed and extremely fast mode of transportation (Maglev, p 28).

Now comes the disadvantages; Maglev guide paths are more costly than any conventional railways system when installation comes into picture. This disadvantage gets amplified with the fact that Maglev system requires a complete new set of infrastructure. The railways infrastructure available for usage is of no use for implementing Maglev and hence a totally new set of system would be implemented. The conventional system would lose its utility and couldn’t have a mutual existence with maglev (Maglev, p 28).

Hence, after a very careful and thorough research, the final verdict is that the Principle of Magnetic Levitation when applied for mass transit would transform the way people move in the future and might provide an able substitute of all expensive air transport.


Bonsor, K. “How Maglev Trains Work”. 2008


Jahn, R. G. “ÒPhysics of Electric Propulsion,Ó” McGraw-Hill, New York. 1968

Magnetically Levitated Trains (Maglev)


Jahn, Robert G. & Choueiri, Edgar Y. “Electric Propulsion” Encyclopedia of Physical Science   and Technology, Third Edition, Volume 5 2002

Electromagnetic Propulsion Technology Essay

Electromagnetic Spectrum Essay

Electromagnetic Spectrum Essay.

We use the electromagnetic spectrum every day it’s the microwave you use to heat your food and the cell phones you use to text! Those are part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The light that our eyes can see is also part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum consists of the colors that we see in a rainbow – from reds and oranges, through blues and purples!! The electromagnetic spectrum has 7 parts to it, radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultra violet, x-rays, and gamma waves.

Radio waves~ are the electromagnetic waves with the wave length longer than 1mm, it is used for communication. Radio waves also have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves can be longer than a football field or as short as a football. Radio waves do more than just bring music to your radio. They also carry signals for your television and cellular phones. Because radio waves are larger than optical waves, radio telescopes work differently than telescopes that we use for visible > light (optical telescopes).

Radio telescopes are dishes made out of conducting metal that reflect radio waves to a focus point. Because the wavelengths of radio light are so large, a radio telescope must be physically larger than an optical telescope to be able to make images of comparable clarity. For example, the Parkes radio telescope, which has a dish 64 meters wide, cannot give us any clearer an image than a small backyard telescope! In order to make better and more clear (or higher resolution) radio images, radio astronomers often combine several smaller telescopes, or receiving dishes, into an array.

Together, the dishes can act as one large telescope whose size equals the total area occupied by the array. Microwaves~ are radio waves with wave lengths between 1m and 1mm. Microwaves have wavelengths that can be measured in centimeters! The longer microwaves, those closer to a foot in length, are the waves which heat our food in a microwave oven. Microwaves are good for transmitting information from one place to another because microwave energy can penetrate haze, light rain and snow, clouds, and smoke. Shorter microwaves are used in remote sensing.

These microwaves are used for radar like the Doppler radar used in weather forecasts. Microwaves, used for radar, are just a few inches long. Radar is an acronym for “radio detection and ranging”. Radar was developed to detect objects and determine their range (or position) by transmitting short bursts of microwaves. The strength and origin of “echoes” received from objects that were hit by the microwaves is then recorded. Because radar senses electromagnetic waves that are a reflection of an active transmission, radar is considered an active remote sensing system.

Passive remote sensing refers to the sensing of electromagnetic waves which did not originate from the satellite or sensor itself. The sensor is just a passive observer. Infrared~ is resistance of an object to change in its motion. Infrared light lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared light has a range of wavelengths, just like visible light has wavelengths that range from red light to violet. “Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic. Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared. The temperature-sensitive nerve endings in our skin can detect the difference between inside body temperature and outside skin temperature. Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them.

These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control. Visible light~ the only electromagnetic waves we can see. Visible light waves are the only electromagnetic waves we can see. We see these waves as the colors of the rainbow. Each color has a different wavelength. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest wavelength. When all the waves are seen together, they make white light. When white light shines through a prism, the white light is broken apart into the colors of the visible light spectrum.

Water vapor in the atmosphere can also break apart wavelengths creating a rainbow. Each Cone in our eyes are receivers for these tiny visible light waves. The Sun is a natural source for visible light waves and our eyes see the reflection of this sunlight off the objects around us. The color of an object that we see is the color of light reflected. All other colors are absorbed. Light bulbs are another source of visible light waves. or in a rainbow corresponds to a different wavelength of electromagnetic spectrum. Ultraviolet~ frequency of an object to a change in its motion.

Ultraviolet (UV) light has shorter wavelengths than visible light. Though these waves are invisible to the human eye, some insects, like bumblebees, can see them! Scientists have divided the ultraviolet part of the spectrum into three regions: the near ultraviolet, the far ultraviolet, and the extreme ultraviolet. The three regions are distinguished by how energetic the ultraviolet radiation is, and by the “wavelength” of the ultraviolet light, which is related to energy. The near ultraviolet, abbreviated NUV, is the light closest to optical or visible light.

The extreme ultraviolet, abbreviated EUV, is the ultraviolet light closest to X-rays, and is the most energetic of the three types. The far ultraviolet, abbreviated FUV, lies between the near and extreme ultraviolet regions. It is the least explored of the three regions. Our Sun emits light at all the different wavelengths in electromagnetic spectrum, but it is ultraviolet waves that are responsible for causing our sunburns. To the left is an image of the Sun taken at an Extreme Ultraviolet wavelength – 171 Angstroms to be exact. (An Angstrom is a unit length equal to 10-10 meters. This image was taken by a satellite named SOHO and it shows what the Sun looked like on April 24, 2000.

Though some ultraviolet waves from the Sun penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, most of them are blocked from entering by various gases like Ozone. Some days, more ultraviolet waves get through our atmosphere. Scientists have developed a UV index to help people protect themselves from these harmful ultraviolet waves. X-rays~ the 2nd highest frequency wave and 2nd shortest in the electromagnetic spectrum. As the wavelengths of light decrease, they increase in energy.

X-rays have smaller wavelengths and therefore higher energy than ultraviolet waves. We usually talk about X-rays in terms of their energy rather than wavelength. This is partially because X-rays have very small wavelengths. It is also because X-ray light tends to act more like a particle than a wave. X-ray detectors collect actual photons of X-ray light – which is very different from the radio telescopes that have large dishes designed to focus radio waves! X-rays were first observed and documented in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German scientist who found them quite by accident when experimenting with vacuum tubes.

What would it be like to see X-rays? Well, we wouldn’t be able to see through people’s clothes, no matter what the ads for X-ray glasses tell us! If we could see X-rays, we could see things that either emit X-rays or halt their transmission. Our eyes would be like the X-ray film used in hospitals or dentist’s offices. X-ray film “sees” X-rays, like the ones that travel through your skin. It also sees shadows left by things that the X-rays can’t travel through (like bones or metal). We use satellites with X-ray detectors on them to do X-ray astronomy.

In astronomy, things that emit X-rays (for example, black holes) are like the dentist’s X-ray machine, and the detector on the satellite is like the X-ray film. X-ray detectors collect individual X-rays (photons of X-ray light) and things like the number of photons collected, the energy of the photons collected, or how fast the photons are detected, can tell us things about the object that is emitting them. To the right is an image of a real X-ray detector. This instrument is called the Proportional Counter Array and it is on the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

It looks very different from anything you might see at a dentist’s office! Gamma Rays~ Gamma-rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any other wave in the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves are generated by radioactive atoms and in nuclear explosions. Gamma-rays can kill living cells, a fact which medicine uses to its advantage, using gamma-rays to kill cancerous cells. Gamma-rays travel to us across vast distances of the universe, only to be absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. Different wavelengths of light penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere to different depths.

Instruments aboard high-altitude balloons and satellites like the Compton Observatory provide our only view of the gamma-ray sky. Gamma-rays are the most energetic form of light and are produced by the hottest regions of the universe. They are also produced by such violent events as supernova explosions or the destruction of atoms, and by less dramatic events, such as the decay of radioactive material in space. Things like supernova explosions (the way massive stars die), neutron stars and pulsars, and black holes are all sources of celestial gamma-rays.

Gamma-ray astronomy did not develop until it was possible to get our detectors above all or most of the atmosphere, using balloons or spacecraft. The first gamma-ray telescope, carried into orbit on the Explorer XI satellite in 1961, picked up fewer than 100 cosmic gamma-ray photons! Unlike optical light and X-rays, gamma rays cannot be captured and reflected in mirrors. The high-energy photons would pass right through such a device. Gamma-ray telescopes use a process called Compton scattering, where a gamma-ray strikes an electron and loses energy, similar to a cue ball striking an eight ball. Primary light colors~ Green, Red and Blue.

Electromagnetic Spectrum Essay

Electromagnetic Waves Essay

Electromagnetic Waves Essay.

Electromagnetic waves are radiated energy of all different strengths. They’re different from sound waves and water waves because they have the ability to travel through empty space. A vacuum. These are the only types of waves that do not need any type of medium because of photons. Photons are tiny particles that don’t get traveled through, but make up electromagnetic waves. Photons travel with the wave at about 300,000 k/s. also known as the speed of light. The more energy the photons have, the brighter the light will appear.

The energy of electromagnetic waves are measured in the electromagnetic spectrum, a big graph showing the different wavelengths and frequencies of electromagnetic waves. It ranges from radio waves, which are the weakest, to gamma rays, the strongest -Only a very small part of the spectrum is visible to the human eye, called the visible light spectrum. These colors are the colors of the rainbow. ——- The colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow,green, blue, and violet.


The I in BIV, indigo, no longer exists. The reason that red is always on the top of the rainbow is because red light is weakest light, so it is dim. The different colors will get brighter until they get to the bottom, violet, which is the strongest of the colors. The reason that these colors appear is because of wavelength of the light wave. The red light has a much longer wavelength than the violet, so it’s weaker. When scientists are looking at an object, and the gage shifts to red, scientists call it a red shift.

When this happens, it means that an object has moved further away. ——-There are seven different types of waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. The weakest is the radio wave. These are the waves that your radio and t. v. use. Radio’s have the longest wavelength (the distance from crest to crest), and the lowest frequency (how many waves pass one point per second). Next are microwaves. They are just slightly more powerful, and are of course used in your microwave.

The power continues to build through infra red light, the visible spectrum, UV rays and x-rays. Gamma rays, the most powerful, can shoot through anything. They can even cause cancer sometimes, but they are also used to cure it. Scientists use Gamma rays to find out the distance of an object. They shoot the ray out to the stars, when it bounces back, the color of the light can be used to find out the distance away the star is. Red means it is further, and violet means it is closer.

Electromagnetic Waves Essay