Everyone in the world is concerned about the future of transportation. How many people have been late to their work? How many people lost their lives in an ambulance on their way to hospital? How much time did we spend in traffic jams? We have to figure out a solution for this issue to avoid wasting more time.

Governments around the world are trying to find solutions for traffic jams through building new roads or developing the old ones to face the increasing number of cars. Even this solution was not efficient. Elon Musk unveiled his invention which is “hyperloop” in an attempt to solve this problem.

What is hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a partially evacuated tube, where pods floating on air bearings and accelerated by linear motors will travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than 30 minutes, at around 760 Mps—which means that we will travel just under the speed of sound.

How does it look?

Hyperloop is in the form of an air hockey table with pods that are accelerated inside a technique similar to rail guns.

How does it function?

Hyperloop works by reducing the air pressure inside the loop to 1/6 of the pressure of the atmosphere on Mars or just 0.1% of Earth’s atmosphere using pumps, which reduce air resistance 1,000 times. All these features will allow us to make near-speed-of-sound viable. The pressure will be 100 Pa (0.75 Torr), while a high vacuum usually has an air pressure of 0.1 Pa or less.

Why is it better?

By comparing it with ordinary transportation systems we realize that Hyperloop is safer, faster, lower in cost, more convenient, immune to weather and sustainable to earthquakes.

The Hyperloop  is the correct solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km apart. With a high enough altitude and the right geometry, the sonic boom noise on the ground would be no louder than current airliners. Also, a quiet supersonic plane immediately solves every long distance city pair without the need for a vast new worldwide infrastructure.


The Hyperloop is incredibly hypothetical at the moment. The key innovation—that the pods will suck in air and use on-board, battery-powered compressors to create an air bearing beneath it—is entirely novel and untested. Till the moment, almost every part of the Hyperloop is novel and untested—except for the air bearings, of course, which have been extensively tested by arcade-goers for decades. Unlike its air hockey table forebear, though, let us just hope that Musk does not leave the Hyperloop in his entrepreneurial basement gathering dust.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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