Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), SpellBot


What is Pressure?

Pressure is a measure of the amount of force in a given area. For example; the pressure of a finger pushing a wall is fairly small. However, the pressure of a finger pressing a pin against a wall is very high: even though the force is the same. This is because we have reduced the area by a lot.

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In order to calculate pressure, we use the below equation, which should be very easy to use:

equation for pressure

Example: Standing On One Foot

To help you understand how to calculate pressure, we have got a fun little example for you below. Simon is standing on one leg, you are given his mass and the rough size of his feet (he has quite large feet).

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example of pressure

Firstly we need to convert his mass into a weight. Using a value of g=10 he weighs 750N, this is the force.

The area of the foot is 20cm x 8cm = 160cm2. Since there are 10 000cm2 in 1m2 this means the area of one foot is 0.016m2.

Now to calculate the pressure in Pascals the force is divided by the area; 750 / 0.016 = 43 750Pa or 43.75 kPa

Gas Pressure

gas particles in a container

Gas particles are always moving, and in a completely random fashion.

When in a container they will collide with its walls. These collisions are what cause gas pressure. This can be increased by: increasing the number of particles decreasing the volume of the container increasing the temperature in the container. The mathematical relationship between volume and pressure change (at a constant temperature) is as follows:

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P1 x V1 = P2 x V2



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Categories : Forces

Recent edits by: Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)

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