Magnetism the Key to the Future? Maybe!

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/extreme-machines/8-ways-magnetic-levitation-could-shape-the-future#slide-4

When I stumbled across this article it looked like something from a science fiction movie. While many of these ideas are still just a dream in a scientist’s mind, a lot of them make for an entertaining read.
The idea of using Earth’s magnetic charge to create a future in technology is still a long way away from becoming a reality, however it looks like a great and creative way to generate energy. This type of energy is not only eco-friendly, but can possibly open a whole new field of study. The first article discusses the possibility of floating cities one day (an image of Avatar pops into my mind with this picture). Chinese architect Wei Zhao developed an idea to one day create floating cities that incorporate high powered magnets on the bottom to push against the earths magnetic force. While this idea may seem very exciting and believable, I think Zhao may need to consult some scientists before trying to build anything close to this.

A floating city may not be the most believable out of all of these options, but there are a few good ideas that seem relatively plausible. For example, the use of maglev trains (that use magnetic power instead of electric in order to travel) is already existent in some parts of the world. According to the article, these trains can reach speeds up to 300 miles per hour as oppose to other trains that can only reach speeds of 180 miles per hour. This is due to the lack of friction in maglev trains since they don’t actually touch a rail, but rather hover above the rails.
Another idea that caught my interest is the idea of flying cars (maybe because a part of me is still a star wars geek that wants to race around in a floating car). The article states that these cars can reach speeds of up to 180 miles per hour and travel above the roads so as to not interfere with other traffic. Not only do they make a trip more time efficient, but they also reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful toxins to the air, making them environmentally friendly. An extremely important part of this article (at least in my opinion), is the reduction of reliance on foreign oil, a fact that is extremely important with the loss of fossil fuels and current tensions between the US and the Middle East. The article says that NASA has already shown interest in this project and in 2009 made efforts to further research towards the development of maglev cars.


The article then goes on to talk about the development of more efficient cancer treatments because of the use of Maglev technologies. By using magnets to examine cancerous cells, the cell is suspended in mid air and represent cells that are closer in genetic make up to actual cancerous cells. As I am sure almost everyone in the nation has been affected by someone diagnosed with cancer, this research is not only relevant to a certain portion of the population, but the majority of the population. If the possibility of furthering the use of Maglev technologies can help develop more efficient ways to fight cancer, then why not use it?
The article goes one to discuss other topics such as studying weighlessness, magnetic bearings, and more efficient wind power, but I feel that some of the most interesting topics were the ones I listed previously. The expanding use and development of Maglev power could prove extremely successful for many purposes. Not only would it help with efficiency, medical research, and overall development, but it could also help lead to a more eco-friendly world. While many of these technologies are still in the brainstorming phase, a few have already proved successful leading researchers to think that there could be much more that Maglev technology could provide. I believe that in the constant development of new technologies in the global age, it is pivotal to explore every possibility!

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