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From the Editor: December 2019 - January 2020

by H. Shaju
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Hyperloop, a new form of ground transport currently being developed by a number of companies in different countries across the world can soon see passengers travelling at over 1100 km an hour in a floating pod, either above or below the ground, once commercialised.

The major differences between Hyperloop and traditional rail are: in Hyperloop the pods carrying passengers travel through tubes or tunnels from which most of the air has been removed to reduce friction which enables the pods to travel at a speed up to 1200 km per hour. Secondly, rather than using wheels like a train or a car, the pods are designed to float on air skis, using the same basic idea as an air hockey table, or use magnetic levitation to reduce friction.

Hyperloop could be cheaper and faster than train or car travel and less polluting than air travel. Expected to be quicker and cheaper to build than traditional high-speed rail, Hyperloop could reduce the pressure off gridlocked roads, making travel between cities easier and economically viable. Read more about this new invention from the cover story ‘Hyperloop – Transport of the future’.

The most recognized face of climate change activism, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has a cult following among the young and the climate activists all over the world. Greta started off protesting outside the Swedish parliament pressing for immediate action to fight climate change when she was just 15 years old. Protesting with the placard that read ‘School Strike for the Climate,’ she skipped school demanding action from the lawmakers. She is now the poster girl among the young eco-crusaders lending refreshing rigour to the global stir against climate change. Know more about this inspiring youngster from the article ‘The Greta mystique’.

Basically investment or investing is a commitment of funds made in the expectations of some positive rate of returns. However, investment means different things to different persons. For example, if a person advances some money to another investment, it may be a loan, which may be considered his/her investment for a return. On the other hand, if a person buys a consumer durable like washing machine for the flow of service, it may be his/her investment. In short investment is a choice by the individual to risk his/her saving with the hope to gain. Know more about investment and investing from the write-up ‘Thoughts on investing’.

In line with the tradition of solar studies in the country, it was first proposed to have a modest mission with a near Earth orbit. However, encouraged by senior scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission was upgraded. Accordingly, a solar probe, named Aditya-L1, was designed to perform from 1.5 million km away from the Earth, where the Sun could be studied without interruption. Even though it was a challenge for ISRO to take up the mission,with the concerted efforts of its team of young scientists, engineers and astronomers, the latest techniques have been incorporated into the payloads of Aditya-L1, the first Indian space mission to study the Sun. The mission is likely to be launched in 2020.

Learn more about this continuing pursuit of India’s long tradition of ground-based solar studies from the feature ‘Aditya-L1 – In line with a glorious tradition’.

For more fascinating stories on Freedom Fighters, Personality Development, English Corner, Literature, General Knowledge, Productivity, Silver Screen, Health, Food and Lifestyle and the like, scan through this edition of GYAN Vitaranam.

H. Shaju



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