MIT and the Hyperloop: High-Speed Transportation in a Vacuum

IEEE student member is part of a team that built an award-winning prototype of a passenger-carrying “pod”

4 min read
Photo: MIT Hyperloop
Photo: MIT Hyperloop

THE INSTITUTEImagine traveling the 615-plus kilometers from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the ground in less than 40 minutes, instead of nearly 6 hours. That’s one of IEEE Honorary Member Elon Musk’s dreams. The founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX proposed the Hyperloop in 2013 after becoming irritated by the relative sluggish speed and US $68 billion price tag of California’s proposed high-speed rail project to link the two cities.

Passengers in Musk’s version of the Hyperloop would ride in pods—sealed vehicles propelled through an underground tube kept at a near-vacuum. The pods could theoretically travel at close to the speed of sound (about 1,200 km per hour), using a fairly low-energy propulsion system—propelled either by passive magnetic levitation or by air expelled from the pods themselves. The tube would be suspended off the ground to protect against weather and earthquakes.

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The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.

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The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

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