Bibliography Of Hyperloop

1.California High Speed Train Project. Design Criteria. N.p.: California High Speed Train Project, n.d. California High Speed Rail Authority. Dec. 2012. Web.

-This document lays out the design criteria for the interior and track of the proposed California high-speed rail. It provides a helpful overview of the complexities of designing a transport system and the codes, guidelines and standards that have emerged to ensure its success.  Some of these dimensions include: passenger comfort, safety and accessibility; environmental impact, including issues of noise, emissions, and preservation of geography and clean water; and energy, aesthetic and land-use issues.


2.Chin, Jeffrey et al. “Open-Source Conceptual Sizing Models for the Hyperloop Passenger Pod.” Kissimmee, FL: AIAA SciTech, 2015.

-This article offers an expert review of Elon Musk’s original white paper through which he introduced the Hyperloop’s technical systems. It also offers some recommendations that take into account the aerodynamic and thermodynamic interactions between the tube and the pod. According to the authors’ recommendations, the tube should be nearly twice the size of the originally proposed 2.2 meters, which would also limit the maximum capsule travel speed to 620 mph, instead of 700 or more mph.

The authors also recommend removing the proposed on-board heat exchanger, which is not an ideal solution to equalizing air temperature within the tube; this change would be accompanied by reduction in weight, energy requirements and complexity of the pod. The authors conclude that despite the compelling nature of the core Hyperloop concept, much further engineering and financial analysis is required before a feasible design is developed.

3.Disch, Thomas M. The dreams our stuff is made of: How science fiction conquered the world. Simon and Schuster, 2000.

-This is a very interesting book- it examines many inventions that firstly appeared in science fiction novels and it provides us with many interesting stories related to the invention and the inventor. You can get the history of many inventions here that you might be never think of. 

4.England-Nelson, Jordan. “Hyperloop: UCLA Graduate Students Explore Feasibility of High-speed Tube Transportation System.”Daily Breeze. Daily Breeze, 1 Dec. 2014. Web.

-This article profiles the work of one of our interview subjects, Craig Hodgetts of UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design, who is designing the interior and stations of the Hyperloop in conjunction with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. It offers insight into the vision for the interior—comfortable, beautiful and safe, like the interior of a Lambourghini, says Hodgetts.


 5.Goddard, Robert. “The Limit of Rapid Transit.” Scientific American 20 Nov. 1909. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

-An excerpt from a paper Goddard wrote as a college student imagining what the future of long distance travel might look like. Published originally in 1909, Goddard would go on to explore these ideas throughout his career, applying some of the concepts to his groundbreaking work in astrophysics. He also managed to obtain patents on some of the components in the 1940s, although none were ever put into production as originally envisioned. Goddard is the only previous engineer/inventor mentioned by name in Musk’s 2013 White Paper, unsurprising considering their mutual interest in astrophysics; Goddard designed and patented the basic elements of many rockets that Musk’s SpaceX company still uses today.

6.Kosowatz, John. “INVESTIGATING HYPERLOOP’S VIABILITY.” Mechanical Engineering1 (2014): 12-5. ProQuest. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

-This article from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers summarizes and further deblackboxes the various technological systems that Elon Musk outlined in his original proposal. The technical systems the article describes are the air bearings that will allow the capsule to float inside the tube, the air compressor installed at the front of each capsule that pumps air out the back of the capsule in order to further reduce air resistance, and the system of solar panels that will theoretically power the entire hyperloop.

The article also includes the early results of a 2013 feasibility analysis by high-end transportation software developer Ansys. Although the company believes that the Hyperloop is viable, it offered some important design recommendations. They recommended altering the capsule design from a tapered figure to a more cylindrical design and placing air bearings on top of the pods in addition to the bottom of the capsule in order to balance the capsule during changes in air pressure.

7.Jung, E.s, S.h Han, M. Jung, and J. Choe. “Coach Design for the Korean High-speed Train.”Applied Ergonomics29.6 (1998): 507-19. Web.

-This study offers insight in designing ergonomically sound seating and layout of the Korean high-speed rail coach. It provides insight into passenger needs and expectations for safety, comfort and access to information, as well as optimizing train capacity and efficiency in loading and unloading. The Hyperloop will have to take into consideration many of these same functional and comfort tradeoffs highlighted here.


8.Levin, Irwin P., et al. Measurement of psychological factors and their role in travel behavior. No. 649. 1977.

-This book introduces some psychological aspects of us when we first encountered with some new form of transportation and how we will behave to react toward a new form of transportation. It involves many aspects, like security considerations, economic considerations and culture background.

9.Levinson, David M. “Accessibility Impacts of High-speed Rail.”Journal of Transport Geography22 (2012): 288-91. Web.

-By studying high-speed rail (HSR) trains and proposals around the world, this study puts forth that most HSR operates in a “hub-and-spoke” design where the communities at the hubs benefit more than those at the spokes. It also ventures that the range of effects of HSR on communities is wide, noting that HSR may concentrate population while dispersing employment. As a high-speed transportation technology, the Hyperloop may have a similar range of effects.


10.Musk, Elon. “Hyperloop Alpha.” Aug. 2013.

-This white paper contains Elon Musk’s grand ideas for the Hyperloop, a theoretical tube transportation technology that can move passenger pods across long distances at up to 760 mph. Musk motivation for releasing this paper in 2013 was his disappointment over the approval of California’s high speed rail system; according to Musk, the Hyperloop could transport capsules several times faster than the high speed rail and could be built at 1/10th the cost. The paper includes in-depth technical explanations for each of the subsystems that would make this technology possible: tube design, capsule design, the air bearing levitation system, propulsion, route design, and safety/risk mitigation design.

11. Oster, Daryl, Masayuki Kumada, and Yaoping Zhang. “Evacuated tube transport technologies (ET3). a maximum value global transportation network for passengers and cargo.” Journal of Modern Transportation 19.1 (2011): 42-50.

This article, published by Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3) two years before Elon Musk released the Hyperloop whitepaper, introduces a theoretical high-speed tube transport technology that is very similar to the Hyperloop except for a few key differences. ET3 proposes a transport tube that is completely airless unlike the Hyperloop, which operates in a partial vacuum. The complete lack of air resistance in the total vacuum would allow passenger pods to travel at 4000 mph. However, Musk explains in his white paper how impractical (perhaps impossible) it would be to maintain a full vacuum over such long distances, which is why he opted for a partial vacuum. Another key difference is that ET3 proposes to levitate the capsules in the tube using magnetic levitation; the Hyperloop capsules will be suspended in the tube on a cushion of compressed air released from the bottom of the capsule.

12.Osuna, Edgar Elias. “The psychological cost of waiting.” Journal of Mathematical Psychology 29.1 (1985): 82-105.

-This article reviews the importance of speed and time- long time waiting will not only result in anxiety, but also result in low efficiency. That’s why we need Hyperloop in our real life. 

13.“Pneumatic Dispatch Railway.”The New York Times29 Oct. 1865. Web. 5 Apr. 2015.

-An interesting first hand account of one of the earliest functional “pneumatic railways,” built by Thomas Webster Rammell in England. A good technical description of this artifact, which sounds generally similar to his “Crystal Palace pneumatic railway” that Rammell built as a sort of novelty attraction a year earlier. Although this design is by no means identical to the hyperloop, it is an obvious ancestor: low pressure tube, passenger carrying capsules, comparatively high speeds for the time… Rammell’s version seems to never have been adopted simply because the traditional steam-powered locomotive already had so much traction and was much cheaper.  

14.Salter, Robert M. “Trans-Planetary Subway Systems.” 1978. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

Salter, Robert M. “The Very High Speed Transit System.” 1972. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

-These two white papers, written for and published by the RAND corporation, represent perhaps the most recent ancestor of current efforts toward building this type of high speed transport system (especially if we include the ET3 company’s relatively recent efforts as contemporary of Musk, Hyperloop Technologies, and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies). Salter’s design differs from Musk’s in three key ways: he relies on magnetic levitation rather than air bearings, the tube would maintain a “hard vacuum” or 0 atmosphere environment, and the tube would be buried several miles underground both to help with the vacuum and to allow a perfectly level track unencumbered by geographical/geological barriers. To our knowledge, Salter’s “Planetran” remained only conceptual, with no construction ever taking place; following Musk’s design alterations, we might assume that Salter’s design would simply have been too expensive to build, especially the hundreds of miles of digging tunnels deep in the Earth that would be expected to maintain a full vacuum.  

15.Schivelbusch, Wolfgang. The Railway Journey: The Industrialization of Time and Space in the Nineteenth Century. First Edition, With a New Preface edition. University of California Press, 1979. Print.

-Although Schivelbusch is obviously talking about a very different technology in a very different time and place, his analysis of the social and economic impacts of the steam-powered locomotive provides insight into, if nothing else, how transformative transportation technology can be. He describes the “annihilation of time and space” that accompanied the emergence of the locomotive, a transformation that simultaneously made the world more accessible and more distant, more diverse and more similar. The impact of these changes on the individual and society in general were considerable. We might look to works like this one to start imagining the potential social and economic effects of the hyperloop, which would in many ways continue this “annihilation of time and space.

16. Solomon, Kathleen M., Richard J. Solomon, and Joseph S. Silien. “Passenger psychological dynamics: sources of information on urban transportation.” ASCE, 1968.

-This is a more quantitative research. It is a review of consumer attitude underlying modal choice in urban transportation. Factors selected from attitude surveys and transit demonstration projects include safety, reliability, time saving, cost, convenience, comfort, aesthetics, and marketing.

17.Upbin, Bruce. “Hyperloop Is Real: Meet The Startups Selling Supersonic Travel.” Forbes. Forbes, 11 Feb. 2015. Web.

-This article profiles the main players—the engineers, political figures, and venture capital entities—involved in the development of the Hyperloop.  These include Brogan Bambrogan, Elon Musk and Dirk Ahlborg, among others.  The article also provides a sense of priorities, including that a trip on the Hyperloop remain affordable and vying for ways to disrupt shipping and transport industries.


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