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Explaining Elon Musk’s Hyperloop test track, in extremely basic terms

Screenshot from Hyperloop Alpha design doc.
Tesla Motors
Hyper. Loop.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop transportation system may seem complicated, but it’s really quite simple.

This week, PayPal co-founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to build a Hyperloop test track, “most likely in Texas.” Musk originally unveiled his plans for the Hyperloop, a transportation system that he claims will be able to get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes, in 2013.

There are a lot of complicated physics, fluid dynamics and computational transportation science involved in the particulars of the Hyperloop, which spanned 58 PDF pages in Musk’s first pass at an explanation. When you break it down, however, it’s really a system that anyone can understand. Here, I attempt to explain it in the simplest terms I can come up with.

Okay. The Hyperloop, in essence, has two parts: the neotransistometer, and the trans-combustant air putrifier.

The function of the neotransistometer, I think, is self-explanatory: It oxidizes the laser-field turbine (LFT) and compresses the Polonium intake valve so that the gasohol pistons can achieve millenniary exit velocity. In order for the Hyperloop to reach Mach 0.91 (also known as Eberstark’s Constant, represented as ρ), the LFT’s must super-collide, sublimate and thermosynthesize simultaneously, reaching the electrolytical oxiduction point; with a steady supply of polycarbonate thermite flooded into the rotary dehydration portal, each Hyperloop pod can successfully ignite, elevate, and chromosphere from one terminal to the next, without argifying, de-substantiating or undergoing fyto-photo-interterpidation.

The trans-combustant air putrifier, meanwhile, is a bit more complicated. You know how typical internal combustion engines tend to Boullify in aneroid environments where the gear ratio is constrained by a manifold vacuum? (We’ve all been there! Lol.) Musk’s plan for the Hyperloop evades this common restraint by applying what’s known as Koppinger’s Conjecture to a colloidal body’s gravitational field strength. As far as I know (correct me in the comments!), this has never been attempted before.

To lay out the problem: When super-cooled heavy air interacts with a hybrid ethlyene glycollagen solution, it tends to convaporize into a corrosive Potassium 2-ethylhexanoate mixture. This means that the rubidium undecamercurides threaten to combolobulate the entire system. And that is ::looks straight into the camera:: a tricky-wicky potato, my good neighbor!

This is an actual diagram from Elon Musk’s actual explanation of the Hyperloop.

In the Hyperloop’s transcombustant air putrifier, however, that vapor is flushed out and treated with a burst of gamma rays, swirled with 9000 degree Kelvin stardust and then hammer-forced, via a series of pulleys, into a pool of liquefied PCP Angel Dust, where it is cooked, frozen, cooked, frozen, cooked, frozen and then vaporized(x8), until it has been subjected to at least 75 phase changes. (All of this occurs in a span of about 0.5 human seconds, or 0.00000837 seconds on the planet Gammurax). When post-adumbration occurs, on the fifth full moon after Secretary’s Appreciation Day, the transcombustant air putrifier roars, and the engine is fully fueled, thus driving the pods forward, toward San Francisco.

Now, this is a highly simplified, dumbed-down account of the precise science of the Hyperloop. I didn’t even bother, for example, attempt to explain the inner-workings of the carbonite Wankel engine, or the nuclear thermojet boosters, or even the most elementary facets of the Linux-based computational Gorbachev neurometer.

This should, however, be enough to make you conversant at your next dinner party, blind date, or chat with your barber/dog-sitter.

Also the tracks are made of aluminum or Silicon or some shit, I don’t know.


A version of this article was originally published on MediumFollow Jason on Twitter.

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