Repelling magnetic forces are produced by the interaction of a flux-concentrated magnetic field (produced by permanent magnets or electromagnets) with an inductively loaded closed electric circuit. When one such element moves with respect to the other, a current is induced in the circuit. This current then interacts back on the field to produce a repelling force. These repelling magnetic forces are applied to magnetically levitate a moving object such as a train car. The power required to levitate a train of such cars is drawn from the motional energy of the train itself, and typically represents only a percent or two of the several megawatts of power required to overcome aerodynamic drag at high speeds.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.