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Motional emfs in Transportation. Airplanes and trains move through the earth’s magnetic field at rather high speeds, so it is reasonable to wonder whether this field can have a substantial effect on them. We shall use a typical value of 0.50 G for the earth’s field. (a) The French TGV train and the Japanese “bullet train” reach speeds of up to 180 mph moving on tracks about 1.5 m apart. At top speed moving perpendicular to the earth’s magnetic field, what potential difference is induced across the tracks as the wheels roll? Does this seem large enough to produce noticeable effects? (b) The Boeing 747-400 aircraft has a wingspan of 64.4 m and a cruising speed of 565 mph. If there is no wind blowing (so that this is also their speed relative to the ground), what is the maximum potential difference that could be induced between the opposite tips of the wings? Does this seem large enough to cause problems with the plane?
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