Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

Magnetic Railroads  
  A scheme for powering railroads using enormous electromagnets.  

"Another form is the magnetic railway, on which the cars are wedge-shaped at both ends, and moved by huge magnets weighing four thousand tons each, placed fifty miles apart. On passing a magnet, the nature of the electricity charging a car is automatically changed from positive to negative, or vice versa, to that of the magnet just passed, so that it repels while the next attracts. The successive magnets are charged oppositely, the sections being divided halfway between by insulators, the nature of the electricity in each section being governed by the charge in the magnet. To prevent one kind of electricity from uniting with and neutralizing that in the next section by passing through the car at the moment of transit, there is a "dead stretch" of fifty yards with rails not charged at all between the sections. This change in the nature of the electricity is repeated automatically... Magnetism being practically as instantaneous as gravitation, the only limitations to speed are the electrical pressure at the magnets, the resistance of the air, and the danger of the wheels bursting from centrifugal force. The first can seemingly be increased without limit; the atmospheric resistance is about to be reduced by running the cars hermetically sealed through a partial vacuum in a steel and toughened glass tube; while the third has been removed indefinitely by the use of galvanized aluminum, which bears about the same relation to ordinary aluminum that steel does to iron, and which has twice the tensile strength and but one third the weight of steel. In some cases the rails are made turned in, so that it would be impossible for a car to leave the track without the road-bed's being totally demolished; but in most cases this is found to be unnecessary, for no through line has a curve on its vast stretches with a radius of less than half a mile. Rails, one hundred and sixty pounds to the yard, are set in grooved steel ties, which in turn are held by a concrete road-bed consisting of broken stone and cement, making spreading rails and loose ballast impossible. A large increase in capital was necessary for these improvements, the elimination of curves being the most laborious part, requiring bridges, cuttings, and embankments that dwarf the Pyramids and would have made the ancient Pharaohs open their eyes; but with the low rate of interest on bonds, the slight cost of power, and great increase in business, the venture was a success, and we are now in sight of further advances that will enable a traveller in a high latitude moving west to keep pace with the sun, and, should he wish it, to have unending day."
Technovelgy from A Journey In Other Worlds, by John Jacob Astor IV.
Published by D. Appleton and Co. in 1894
Additional resources -

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Journey In Other Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by John Jacob Astor IV
  Tech news articles related to A Journey In Other Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by John Jacob Astor IV

Articles related to Transportation
San Francisco Autobus
Volvo's Autonomous Truck
Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
Robotaxi By Cruise Premieres in Austin, Texas

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.