Would it be possible to create a human transport system that uses the same principles as a particle accelerator?

So if you had a vacuum tube that could fit a 2 m diameter metallic sphere/pod that carries a human (with, say, a total mass with human, seat, luggage etc., 500 kg), what would be the most energy efficient or practical way to levitate the pod in the tube and then also propel it?

I thought about making the pod positive charged (like an H+ ion in the Linac2 at CERN's LHC) by making it a capacitor, then creating an opposite charge on the tube to keep the pod elevated in the middle and then using an electric field to propel it.

But maybe it'd be better to use magnetism to do the same thing or a combination of both electrical and magnetism?

What energies would be required to accomplish this if I wanted to travel from NYC to LA in 1 hr. That's a distance of 4000 km.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Something like this? $\endgroup$ – By Symmetry Oct 29 '18 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it's called a maglev train. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 29 '18 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ Symmetry: The Hyperloop uses air to levitate the pod, not electric or magnetic fields. John Rennie: I'm familiar with how Maglev trains work. The problem I proposed is quite different. I'm interested in the physics and electric and magnetic field equations and values one would need given the parameters I provided. $\endgroup$ – xxCDxx Oct 29 '18 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ So, a system that imparts 7 TeV of kinetic energy to the would-be traveler...? $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Oct 29 '18 at 19:32

to be viable, any such scheme would need to be more economical than jumbo jet transport, which is hard to beat for cost-effectiveness. in addition, a jet can fly from any airport to any other, but a magnetic tube train requires a tube connecting any two stations- so a tube network will always be less flexible in terms of service. Finally, note that one tube can only serve one train at a time on a given route, whereas airplanes can be stacked at different altitudes so they can either follow parallel paths or cross over each other's paths without interference.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I'm aware of all that. I'm interested in the physics of such a project. Not whether this is a viable business. $\endgroup$ – xxCDxx Oct 29 '18 at 18:22

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