Hyperloop is the latest hot fascination of the PayPal, Tesla, Space-X founder Elon Musk. The concept of hyper loop revolves around transportation at ultra high speeds through near vacuum tubes or tunnels. But the idea is  nothing new, transportation through near vacuum tubes were proposed in the 18th century and one was even patented in 1799 by a British engineer George Medhurst.

The concept:

Hyperloop is actually not the name of the concept, it is a name trademarked by Spec X, a venture of the billionaire Elon Musk. It was early known in many names, including atmosperic railway, but the name Hyperloop stuck. The idea is to transport a pod with passengers and goods through a near vacuum pipe/tunnel. The speed of the pod will be twice that of an airline. Since wheels are not capable of withstanding such speeds the pod will be suspended in air using maglev or by creating an air cushion. This is so far the most energy efficient concept for high speed transportation, since the air resistance is no or negligible the whole system can be operated at low power consumption.

The hyperloop concept by SpaceX involves an air-compressor infront of the pod, a passenger cabin and a storage area for power (Batteries) on the rear. The air compressor will transfer the air infront of the pod to the rear end so as to avoid the slowing down of the pod by the accumulation of air on one side. It also helps to power the air cushion on which the whole thing is suspended.

The initial suggested route of hyperloop connects San Fransisco  Bay Area with Los Angeles. It is a 350mile route and it is estimated that the hyperloop can cover this distance in just 35 minutes ie, it can travel at an average speed of 600 miles/hour!!

If you think this is an ultra modern concept you are wrong. Actually such systems were implemented at multiple points in history for both experimental and practical purposes, though all were closed shortly. One notable such implementation was the Atmospheric railway in Jakarta which is still running. Another is Crystal Palace pneumatic railway in Waterloo, then part of Britain.

How can this help your seminar? Frankly I did a seminar on maglev trains when the thing was actually nothing new, and I was never frowned upon. On the other hand Hyperloop is actually an attention grabbing topic especially with all the hype that is going on now. And if you can create a model or an animation of this you are sure to win hearts.

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