Overview

In this first-ever popular introduction to “maglev”— the use of magnetic forces to overcome gravity and friction—Livingston takes lay readers on a journey of discovery, from maglev nanotechnology to Chinese trains that travel at 250 mph without touching the tracks. He finds magic in “fighting friction by fighting gravity.”
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Rising Force

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Overview

In this first-ever popular introduction to “maglev”— the use of magnetic forces to overcome gravity and friction—Livingston takes lay readers on a journey of discovery, from maglev nanotechnology to Chinese trains that travel at 250 mph without touching the tracks. He finds magic in “fighting friction by fighting gravity.”
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Discover
No, MIT professor Livingston writes, the magnetically levitated island in Gulliver's Travels (or its homage in Avatar) is not possible...But while Jonathan Swift's version of levitation is science fiction, it and other cultural examples dot this accessible illustration of the physics that allow for real-life wonders like maglev trains.
Boston Globe
Further proof that physics can be fun...Think of Peter Pan, David Copperfield, and Harry Potter. Livingston, a physicist and lecturer at MIT who writes songs about physics, looks at the historical fascination with levitation, both real and fake, and explores the use of magnetic forces to overcome gravity and friction in flying frogs, implanted heart pumps, and high-speed trains.
— Jan Gardner
Nature
Giving a new meaning to literary suspense, physicist James Livingston devotes his book to the science of magnetic levitation. From laboratory demonstrations of floating magnets, flying frogs and suspended sumo wrestlers to the realities of urban maglev trains, he uncovers humanity's fascination with the magic of defying gravity, as well as the physics of magnetic fields and superconductivity.
Engineering & Technology
If you thought magnetic levitation was mostly about flying trains, then read Rising Force. Former physicist at GE and lecturer at MIT, James D. Livingston can barely conceal his excitement, and dry sense of humor, as he takes his readers on a whistle-stop tour of everything "maglev."
— Rebecca Pool
Popular Science
I can easily recommend this title. It's a good insight into an aspect of much of modern technology, with enough surrounding material to keep it entertaining to read.
— Matt Chorley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674061095
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 570 KB

Meet the Author

James D. Livingston is a former physicist at GE and lecturer at MIT, and the author of Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets.
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