Maths and Science Collaborate to Solve KAS Hyperloop Problem

21st March 17

Students are constructing a model Hyperloop as an ongoing project with Conrad, Science. The team recently encountered a problem that science alone could not solve. They turned to maths for a solution—YR11 students Leo and Sam explain their cross-curricular approach to the conundrum.

The KAS hyperloop recently encountered a problem. We wanted to know how far we could bend the tube that the high speed pod travels in. We needed this information to determine where we should put the Hyperloop and if it would fit in the science lobby. 

We bent the tube, and measured the arc length and the length between a straight tube and the highest point of the bent tube as shown below. 

The information we gathered was extremely limited. The information we did have was the arc was equal to 200cm. We also knew that the distance between the bent tube and the straight tube was 27cm. We needed to find the radius of the circle to determine how quickly we would need the tube to turn round the corner.

Can you do it? (The answer is below.)

Here is an excellent example of how cross department collaboration can help projects such as this one. It is also an excellent example of how Maths can be applied usefully in the real world!

All that’s left to say is thank you to Jeff, Head of Maths for helping us with the incredibly hard problem and hope to bring you a small scale Hyperloop in the Science Department soon! 

Leo and Sam, YR11



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