Source: https://northeastmaglev.com/2021/11/08/ ... steam-day/ Accessed: 2021-11-09Dr. Gordon Danby was a young scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island in 1960 when a colleague and housemate, James R. Powell, after being stuck in traffic for five hours, asked why transportation couldn’t be different. They discussed the idea of a futuristic train without tracks or an engine, but with strong electromagnets that would keep the cars elevated and propel them, providing a very high-speed and nearly friction-free ride.
The concept of a maglev train had been around for half a century, but Dr. Danby and Dr. Powell proposed using superconducting magnets that would be powerful enough to levitate heavy passenger or freight train cars. Danby and Powell hold the original patent for the superconducting maglev.
Unfortunately, bureaucratic log jams stalled any forward progress on developing a system in the United States. However, Danby and Powell never stopped believing in the technology and promoting it. Officials from Japan and Germany met with the two scientists early on and both countries began development of the technology.
The Japanese superconducting maglev system is what Northeast Maglev is bringing to the United States, starting with connecting Washington, D.C., Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and Baltimore.
In 2000, Drs. Danby and Powell were recipients of a Benjamin Franklin Medal for their invention of the superconducting maglev.
On this National S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. Day, we celebrate Dr. Gordon Danby, his ideas, achievements, and all that he did to advance the superconducting maglev system.
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