Life in the Fast Lane

Yesterday, Elon Musk introduced his much-anticipated idea for the Hyperloop, a mode of transportation that could theoretically whisk passengers from LA to SF in about 38 minutes. “According to Musk’s design, the Hyperloop’s capsules would be transported at speeds of 300 to 760 mph through a steel tube kept at low pressure. The capsules would shoot through the tube on a cushion of air (like a puck gliding on an air hockey table), accelerated by a magnetic system at points along the way.” The idea alone will put pressure on California politicians trying to push through plans to build a high speed train covering the same route.

+ This isn’t the first time someone’s come up with an idea to move people through tubes. Here’s The Atlantic with a brief history of pneumatic tubes. Being sucked through a tube hasn’t been this popular since Cheech and Chong’s last movie.

+ Bloomberg/Businessweek: Hyperloop Physics 101 With Elon Musk.

+ From a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT: “It’s far-fetched. But Musk is a smart guy, so some of the things he’s doing make reasonable sense.”

+ Can’t wait for the Hyperloop? Here are some trains that already go pretty fast.

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