Last edited 19 Jan 2021

Main author

Nathan Massey Website

MagLev Technology and the Lifts of the Future

Lift Going Down - iStock 000021770590 Medium.jpg



MagLev, or magnetic levitation, has recently started to be used for public transportation across the world. Although more expensive to construct than traditional transportation, MagLev does not require any moving parts and it allows for smooth and quiet transportation. Without the constraints of dry friction, MagLev allows for travel across a guideway containing magnets for stability, lift, and propulsion.


Magnetic forces counteract gravity and other acceleration forces. Magnetic levitation provides both stability, ensuring that the transportation system remains in the right position and does not flip, and lifting forces that counteract gravity.

Magnetic pressure is defined to calculate the amount of lift, which is done through the following equation:


Pmag represents the force per unit area, in Pascals, B represents the magnetic field in Teslas, and μ0 represents the permeability of vacuum.

The stability factor means that, any displacement as small as it is, away from a stable equilibrium will cause a net force that will push it back to the equilibrium point. Electronic stabilisation, or diamagnetic materials, are stable along at least one axis and have the potential for stability along all axes. Earnshaw's theorem has conclusively proven that paramagnetic, static, and macroscopic fields alone can’t provide stable levitation.

MagLev Transportation

With the potential to exceed speeds of 4,000 miles per hour, or 6,400 km/h, MagLev presents a fast method of mass transportation for the future. With sky high buildings being developed, MagLev could be the answer for less expensive solutions that allow engineers to address the challenge of ensuring lifts can rise to the sky.

With lifts that can travel through lift shafts without cables, lifts won’t need to adapt to the building design. MagLev presents a smaller carbon footprint and can also transport approximately 45% more passengers than other lifts.

Lifts are dispatched much quicker, with the traditional ‘up and down’ system no longer limiting lift design. Destination dispatch technology will also ensure that multi-lift installations in buildings provide an optimised lift use.

Selecting the floor or even the building of destination will be easier, with lifts picking up passengers efficiently according to where they want to go. This technology will also provide a major benefit while utilised alongside MagLev technology, completing transforming how lifts are designed, installed, and used.

--Nathan Massey 15:31, 24 Aug 2017 (BST)

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