Question: Is what exists transportation-wise today the best of all possible worlds? Strictly from an air quality standpoint, the answer is most definitely No! This alone, one would think, would be enough of an impetus to make transportation better. One would think.
As it relates, I am all for finding new, eco-friendly and efficient ways of travel.
Some are actually engaged in trying to do just that. In yesterday’s post I mentioned “tube travel.”
Now this tube travel idea has intrigued me. I am still waiting to hear word on what this involves and how it works.
However, until that time arrives, I can only visualize what such a system would consist of and how it could work.
First, a simple physics lesson.
I think of air being forced into a balloon. The air or the volume of air being pushed inside causes the balloon to expand. The more air or more volume of air pushed inside the more the balloon expansion. The same is true of inflatable tires or any number of products that require introduced air in order to be inflated.
Introducing air into inflatable objects requires pressure as does forcing water through a hose or pipe or electrons or current through an electric circuit.
Further, in an electric circuit, the current is equivalent to the water in a water pipe. The voltage in an electric circuit, meanwhile, is equivalent to pressure in a water pipe and causes current or electron flow. These are pretty straightforward constructs.
Not necessarily in a hose or pipe system but definitely in an electric circuit, take the pressure away and all of a sudden no more current flow. Without voltage (pressure), the electrons or current in the electric circuit just chill. Are you getting the picture?
The next element to consider is flow rate. Resistance determines the rate at which something (water, electrons, etc.) flows. In the example of a water hose, with one hose end attached to a water-pressure source (a spigot) and on the opposite end is affixed a nozzle, it is the nozzle in this case that provides the water-flow resistance and such could be considered the resistor or inhibitor of a system of this nature. Increase resistance and pressure increases. Decrease resistance and pressure decreases.
Getting back and in reference to the abovementioned tube travel system, in my mind’s eye, the system I envision possesses three essential elements: 1) the tube and travel-capsule combo; 2) air; and 3) pressure.
Not only does the tube serve to hold and guide the travel capsule, but also offers resistance to the capsule itself. (Think of a piston inside a cylinder). Propulsion of the inside-the-tube travel capsule results from pressurized air being placed on the back end of the capsule forcing it to move in a forward direction inside the tube. Tolerances of outside walls of the travel capsule and inside walls of the tube in my thinking would need to be so tight or close that air on the back end of the capsule itself is prevented from bleeding through to the capsule’s front end. As long as air pressure is maintained the capsule moves forward. The higher the pressure presumably, the faster the capsule moves. This is the way I envision this system working.
Now as far as deceleration goes, I also envision any of three different means of capsule deceleration: reduction in air pressure, an air pressure differential existing between the front and back ends of the capsule, or resistance braking.
To elaborate, if the travel capsule relied on a given amount of air pressure placed on the back end to cause the object to move forward then by removing that pressure, the object would slow and eventually stop. By the same token, regulating independent air pressures on the front and rear ends of the capsule, those pressures relative to each other, would determine capsule acceleration/deceleration. Equalization of air pressures relative to travel capsule front and rear ends would result in the capsule stopping. Meanwhile, in resistance braking, some system of physical braking external to the capsule itself could be applied.
This is definitely not rocket science, but close, maybe.
That said, I have questions: Assuming I’m on the right track here, how is the air pressure used for travel capsule propulsion purposes generated? Will it be done using electricity, which is the principle on which automatic air compressor systems operate?
Assuming that is true, how that electricity is generated will determine how eco-friendly and efficient a system on this order actually is.
It will be interesting to finally learn what the operating principle is of the “tube travel” system in question.
I plan on providing an update as soon as I learn more.
– Alan Kandel