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Elon Musk trolling the world


rukawa
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The hyperloop is an incredibly stupid idea. Its obviously really really stupid. But somehow Elon Musk proposed it. Elon Musk is not stupid.

 

I have tried to understand this. And the only thing that make sense to me is that Elon Musk out of some sadistic sense of humour decided to propose as ridiculous an idea as he could and see how many morons he could get to buy into it. He is trolling the world and its working.

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I think it would be a fantastic idea to connect Vienna to Bratislava, silly that the best you can do is an hour one way no matter if by car, train, bus, or boat:

 

 

"While it currently takes 1 hour to get from Bratislava to Vienna by bus or train, we should be able to cover this distance in 8 minutes by year 2020 when Hyperloop should be launched. The 200km distance between Bratislava and Budapest will be covered in 10 minutes. According to the Hyperloop company, the travel ticket should not be more expensive than 20€."

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I can't fathom why you think it is stupid.  I first read a similar idea some time in the early 90s in a Sci-if book by L. Neil Smith called "The Probability Broach" (the book itself was written in 1979). It described a network both within cities and between cities all over North America of completely evacuated underground tubes where you just get into a pod and travel at thousands of miles per hour to your destination (it might have been tens of thousands of miles per hour, I don't remember). I remember thinking duh, that is genius. Atmospheric resistance is the real limiting factor to terrestrial high speed travel.  Of course back then the reason this was unrealistic was the lack of computing power to control/navigate the pods. A collision at those speeds would be catastrophic. Now we have the computing resources to implement this. Especially the more modest partially evacuated slower speed multi-passenger Hyperloop that Musk is suggesting.

 

After reading that book I didn't really think about it again until I heard Musk talk about the Hyperloop.  It sounds even better today, than it did back then because it is now feasible.

 

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I think it would be a fantastic idea to connect Vienna to Bratislava, silly that the best you can do is an hour one way no matter if by car, train, bus, or boat:

 

 

"While it currently takes 1 hour to get from Bratislava to Vienna by bus or train, we should be able to cover this distance in 8 minutes by year 2020 when Hyperloop should be launched. The 200km distance between Bratislava and Budapest will be covered in 10 minutes. According to the Hyperloop company, the travel ticket should not be more expensive than 20€."

 

It would not take 8 minutes nor 10.  To this duration, one would have to add the time to get to the station and from the station to the final destination, waiting for the trains, constraints due to tickets availability and times etc.    The real benefit would be over far larger distances and the real revolution would be autonomous public transportation on dedicated lanes.  Would the money better be invested in the latter or on the hyperloops?

 

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I can't fathom why you think it is stupid. 

 

Its a 600 km long near vacuum. There is absolutely no cheap way to make that work and the issues are obvious. Destruction of the vacuum at any point makes the whole thing fail and when vacuums fail you get explosions and/or implosions. If I were a terrorist...bash an SUV into the tunnel a little before a train is passing through at 700km/hr, the vacuum tube implodes or explodes. The pod in the tube comes out at 700km/hr and hits a building. Just too easy. The power needed to maintain the vacuum would be tremendous. The explosive energy of the vacuum itself would be incredible.

 

And then of course there are the ridiculous cost estimates which are 1/10th what you would expect. The utterly ridiculous design which is completely insufficient to deal with the forces produced by vacuums. Its a 2 inch thick steel tube. Any real world situation which produces vacuums of the kind you will get would typically have all sorts of structural reinforcements and redundancies like multiple layers of containment which would hugely increase costs. This becomes an even bigger issue when you consider safety and terrorism which almost no typical large vacuum application has to deal with because they aren't using the vacuums to do mass transport. This of course mean you are dealing with costs that aren't 1/10 of normal public transportation costs but more like 100 times traditional transport costs.

 

The operational problems which all center around the huge vacuum and the incredibly high speed of the pods are tremendous. Probably every single day you would have catastrophic failures. I would say the operational problems are essentially equivalent to space shuttle launch every single time a pod runs through.

 

This article lays out the problems:

http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/26/scientist-lays-out-5-huge-problems-with-elon-musks-hyperloop-video/

 

There is no way Musk is stupid enough not to understand this. All the problems of space and electric cars involve the type of physics and mechanics that would easily enable him to grasp this. Logically Musk must already know this isn't going to work. So then the question is what is his real agenda.

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I think it would be a fantastic idea to connect Vienna to Bratislava, silly that the best you can do is an hour one way no matter if by car, train, bus, or boat:

 

 

"While it currently takes 1 hour to get from Bratislava to Vienna by bus or train, we should be able to cover this distance in 8 minutes by year 2020 when Hyperloop should be launched. The 200km distance between Bratislava and Budapest will be covered in 10 minutes. According to the Hyperloop company, the travel ticket should not be more expensive than 20€."

 

It would not take 8 minutes nor 10.  To this duration, one would have to add the time to get to the station and from the station to the final destination, waiting for the trains, constraints due to tickets availability and times etc. 

 

How is that any different from going any other option? The train once it starts takes an hour. The hyperloop once it starts takes 8 minutes. Of all the things to nitpick, having to show up early at the station or buying tickets seems kind of silly to complain about.

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I think it would be a fantastic idea to connect Vienna to Bratislava, silly that the best you can do is an hour one way no matter if by car, train, bus, or boat:

 

 

"While it currently takes 1 hour to get from Bratislava to Vienna by bus or train, we should be able to cover this distance in 8 minutes by year 2020 when Hyperloop should be launched. The 200km distance between Bratislava and Budapest will be covered in 10 minutes. According to the Hyperloop company, the travel ticket should not be more expensive than 20€."

 

It would not take 8 minutes nor 10.  To this duration, one would have to add the time to get to the station and from the station to the final destination, waiting for the trains, constraints due to tickets availability and times etc. 

 

How is that any different from going any other option? The train once it starts takes an hour. The hyperloop once it starts takes 8 minutes. Of all the things to nitpick, having to show up early at the station or buying tickets seems kind of silly to complain about.

 

It's different from driving your own car.  It's about economic benefits.

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Keep in mind when people are doing new things that haven't worked before. It is not about it working, it is more about trying new things. Since every trail and error brings new information about the world that we didn't know before.

 

New information is what we need to advance the Civilization.

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The explosive energy of the vacuum itself would be incredible.

 

It's really more of a problem with the energy of the pods.  Just letting air into a vacuum chamber isn't that big a deal - as long as the walls are thick/strong enough.  Back in my student days, we machined vacuum chambers out of aluminum with very thick walls.  We had one beast (made of steel) that you could basically walk/climb into.  The easiest way to stop small leaks was to put some epoxy on the offending hole. 

 

I can't see how the project makes sense cost-wise and it does seem to be overly risky for passengers, but I've not looked into it carefully. 

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The explosive energy of the vacuum itself would be incredible.

 

It's really more of a problem with the energy of the pods.  Just letting air into a vacuum chamber isn't that big a deal - as long as the walls are thick/strong enough.  Back in my student days, we machined vacuum chambers out of aluminum with very thick walls.  We had one beast (made of steel) that you could basically walk/climb into.  The easiest way to stop small leaks was to put some epoxy on the offending hole. 

 

I can't see how the project makes sense cost-wise and it does seem to be overly risky for passengers, but I've not looked into it carefully.

 

Atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inche. Assuming a pure vacuum, a meter square area of steel needs to resist a force of 14.7*(10000cm^2/m^2)*(in^2/ 5.6 cm^2) = 26000 pounds. Or about 10 or 11 toyota corollas. That is the force on every single square meter of the structure. To give you some idea of what that force can do:

 

 

And then you compound this with an object travelling 700km/hr on the inside of the structure.

 

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The explosive energy of the vacuum itself would be incredible.

 

It's really more of a problem with the energy of the pods.  Just letting air into a vacuum chamber isn't that big a deal - as long as the walls are thick/strong enough.  Back in my student days, we machined vacuum chambers out of aluminum with very thick walls.  We had one beast (made of steel) that you could basically walk/climb into.  The easiest way to stop small leaks was to put some epoxy on the offending hole. 

 

I can't see how the project makes sense cost-wise and it does seem to be overly risky for passengers, but I've not looked into it carefully.

 

Atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inche. Assuming a pure vacuum, a meter square area of steel needs to resist a force of 14.7*(10000cm^2/m^2)*(in^2/ 5.6 cm^2) = 26000 pounds. Or about 10 or 11 toyota corollas. That is the force on every single square meter of the structure. To give you some idea of what that force can do:

 

 

And then you compound this with an object travelling 700km/hr on the inside of the structure.

 

 

The Hyperloop as Musk has proposed it isn't even close to pure vacuum. As I said before, Musk's version is really moderate and doable.  A pure vacuum version won't be feasible until materials science progresses to the point where we can make the tubes to contain it safely and affordably. The full vacuum tube transportation system is in the same category as the space elevator. We could build it easily if we had a material which could handle the requirements.

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My take on this is I'll believe it when I see it. It's part of a large group of ideas that are technically feasible but also technically very difficult.

 

I think Musk was smoking weed when he he stated the costs of such a system. No way it can be cheaper than other high speed alternatives.

 

The kid in me says "WAY COOL", then engineer in me says "GOOD LUCK".

 

BeerBaron

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The explosive energy of the vacuum itself would be incredible.

 

It's really more of a problem with the energy of the pods.  Just letting air into a vacuum chamber isn't that big a deal - as long as the walls are thick/strong enough.  Back in my student days, we machined vacuum chambers out of aluminum with very thick walls.  We had one beast (made of steel) that you could basically walk/climb into.  The easiest way to stop small leaks was to put some epoxy on the offending hole. 

 

I can't see how the project makes sense cost-wise and it does seem to be overly risky for passengers, but I've not looked into it carefully.

 

Atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inche. Assuming a pure vacuum, a meter square area of steel needs to resist a force of 14.7*(10000cm^2/m^2)*(in^2/ 5.6 cm^2) = 26000 pounds. Or about 10 or 11 toyota corollas. That is the force on every single square meter of the structure. To give you some idea of what that force can do:

 

 

And then you compound this with an object travelling 700km/hr on the inside of the structure.

 

 

The Hyperloop as Musk has proposed it isn't even close to pure vacuum. As I said before, Musk's version is really moderate and doable.  A pure vacuum version won't be feasible until materials science progresses to the point where we can make the tubes to contain it safely and affordably. The full vacuum tube transportation system is in the same category as the space elevator. We could build it easily if we had a material which could handle the requirements.

 

For the calculation I gave it might as well be a pure vacuum. Musk proposal is below:

https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/blog_attachments/hyperloop_alpha3.pdf

 

His tube air pressure is 0.015 psi (see p.24). This will only reduce the force I calculated above by 0.015*10000/5.6= 26 pounds. So instead of 26000 pounds per square meter I would get 25974. Basically no difference. He is using a pressure 1/1000 of atmospheric. So for structural strength purposes there is no practical difference at all between a pure vacuum and what Musk is proposing. Having a small amount of air pressure does however make a big difference for other part of the proposal like the pump design and the energy expenditure to maintain the vacuum although I still think those will be very high.

 

It should also understood that there are two pressure differences a hyperloop system must deal with. He has to protect the pod from the vacuum of the tube since the pod must be maintained at atmospheric pressure. And he also has to protect the tube from atmospheric pressure of the surrounding atmosphere.

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The hyperloop is an incredibly stupid idea. Its obviously really really stupid. But somehow Elon Musk proposed it. Elon Musk is not stupid.

 

I have tried to understand this. And the only thing that make sense to me is that Elon Musk out of some sadistic sense of humour decided to propose as ridiculous an idea as he could and see how many morons he could get to buy into it. He is trolling the world and its working.

 

Your idea that it's a stupid idea is stupid.

 

See, same level of detail as your analysis.

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The tubes are not the issue, it is easy to build tubes that are able to sustain athmosperic pressure, what do you think vacuum equipment is build of?

The idea of a hyperloop sort of system is very old - I have a future tech book from the 70's, where Systems with tubes and trains under vacuum driven by electromagnetic fields were proposed. The problem is not to thinks this up, it is to make all that work, to put the huge infrastructure in place, design the trains, power them,  find a way to sustain vacuum (how do you do that with trains getting in and out?), to power the trains and to do all this safely and cost effective. Itis going to be a long time, until we see something.

 

Also keep in mind that conventional trains can do 250mph and more, Maglev trains can go even faster. the quantum jump of a hyperloop is not even needed, if we could just exploit current technology and put it into place. Even that is not happening in the US, because it is too expensive, at this point the hyperloop is just futuristic nonsense when we can't even put a decent high speed rail in place in the US.

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Describe modern air travel, or space rockets and satellites, or a modern CPU with 2 billion transitors, to someone before it has been built and the problems with it have been solved and it'd seem crazy and impossible.

 

Heck, I was just seeing this morning about how before the invention of the thermometer, people didn't think it would be possible to measure precisely temperature:

 

"Before thermometers: philosophers mocked the idea of temperature ever being measurable, with all its nuance, complexity and subjectivity "

 

C81dnS8WAAAk2z8.jpg

 

C81dpkqXgAEd7sN.jpg

 

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The tubes are not the issue, it is easy to build tubes that are able to sustain athmosperic pressure, what do you think vacuum equipment is build of?

 

Ok if its easy to do please build me a 10000 km long vacuum tube with a diameter of 1km. I expect you to be done by next month since as you have stated its easy :). Scale matters. Building a vacuum tube you can fit in your hand is very different than building the hyperloop. The forces for one are vastly different. You are basically arguing that a 5 order of magnitude difference in scale is irrelevant.

 

Describe modern air travel, or space rockets and satellites, or a modern CPU with 2 billion transitors, to someone before it has been built and the problems with it have been solved and it'd seem crazy and impossible.

 

And they would be completely freaking correct! At the advent of the transistor, 2 billion transistors was impossible. And would remain impossible for decades. Same with air travel. Most of these things took decades to figure out and required a lot of incremental innovation. They were only worked on because they had modest practical immediate applications that didn't require 2 billion transistors or in the case of air travel high reliability.

 

I can't think of anyone who ever argued for 2 billion transistors when computers were first created in the 1950's. If Musk wanted to argue for something a lot more modest and at a much smaller scale  or if he wanted to propose it as something we should strive for in 50 years than that is exactly what he should have done. His argument is that the hyperloop is realizable today and much much more cheaply than conventional transportation systems (he quotes 6 billion for 600km which is 1/10th cost of conventional systems). I think that is completely insane. And I think it would be similarly insane if someone stated at the advent of the transistor they were going to build a 2 billion transistor chip in the next decade as an alternative to vacuum tube systems and at 1/10 the cost.

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The vacuum tube for the Hyperloop just needs to be large enough in diameter to fit a train through, unless Elon Musk plans are more grandiose than I thought they would be.

A tube of let's say 5 m diameter is possible, it is in fact not that different than a pipeline tube, which are able to sustain very high pressures.

 

I will rest my case in this thread, it just encourages trolling and there is not relation to investing either.

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I can't fathom why you think it is stupid. 

 

Its a 600 km long near vacuum. There is absolutely no cheap way to make that work and the issues are obvious. Destruction of the vacuum at any point makes the whole thing fail and when vacuums fail you get explosions and/or implosions. If I were a terrorist...bash an SUV into the tunnel a little before a train is passing through at 700km/hr, the vacuum tube implodes or explodes. The pod in the tube comes out at 700km/hr and hits a building. Just too easy. The power needed to maintain the vacuum would be tremendous. The explosive energy of the vacuum itself would be incredible.

 

And then of course there are the ridiculous cost estimates which are 1/10th what you would expect. The utterly ridiculous design which is completely insufficient to deal with the forces produced by vacuums. Its a 2 inch thick steel tube. Any real world situation which produces vacuums of the kind you will get would typically have all sorts of structural reinforcements and redundancies like multiple layers of containment which would hugely increase costs. This becomes an even bigger issue when you consider safety and terrorism which almost no typical large vacuum application has to deal with because they aren't using the vacuums to do mass transport. This of course mean you are dealing with costs that aren't 1/10 of normal public transportation costs but more like 100 times traditional transport costs.

 

The operational problems which all center around the huge vacuum and the incredibly high speed of the pods are tremendous. Probably every single day you would have catastrophic failures. I would say the operational problems are essentially equivalent to space shuttle launch every single time a pod runs through.

 

This article lays out the problems:

http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/26/scientist-lays-out-5-huge-problems-with-elon-musks-hyperloop-video/

 

There is no way Musk is stupid enough not to understand this. All the problems of space and electric cars involve the type of physics and mechanics that would easily enable him to grasp this. Logically Musk must already know this isn't going to work. So then the question is what is his real agenda.

 

Railways must have seemed just as absurd when they first came out.  Strips of steel track, any one of which could have snapped or come loose at any time?  Big fire-breathing tanks of boiling water that would drag you across country at unimaginable speeds?  No thanks, I'll stick to my horse.  And yet...

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