TECHNOLOGY: The Power Of Magnetism

The Power Of Magnetism

Sometime within the next year, an eerily quiet, 280-ton lime-green ship will leave the docks at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' shipyard in Kobe, Japan, for the first time. Though it will never speed faster than a leisurely 8 knots or carry more than 10 passengers, the Yamato No. 1's maiden voyage will be as unique as the first time Robert Fulton steamed up the Hudson River. Christened last week with a bottle of sake, the Yamato is the world's first vessel to propel itself through the water using the power of magnetism.

Japanese government and industry are bringing to ocean travel the...

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