Enter the total force and the area that force is being applied to to calculate the total pressure on an object or system.
Pressure is a force applied to an object that is perpendicular to the surface of the object and distributed evenly across that area. The SI unit for pressure is Pascal (Pa). Sometimes units for pressure are derived from the force per unit area. For example, pounds per square inch (psi), or newton per square meter, (N/m^2). Pressure is also measured in atmospheres (atm), which is the pressure of the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level.
The formula for pressure is the following:
Pressure (P) = Force (F) / Area (A)
Pressure is also a measure of potential energy of a system. It’s a force acting over an area, so if that force is performed over some distance, the system has the ability to perform work on another object or system. Through equation manipulation, pressure can than be calculated by the following:
Pressure (P) = Work / Volume
Pressure is a scalar quantity even though it’s calculator through force which is a vector quantity. This is because the very definition of pressure states that it acts perpendicular to the surface. This means the force vector is always at 90 degrees to the surface and never changes direction.
How to calculate pressure
In physics, pressure is known as a force per unit area. As a result, the equation for force can be written as displayed above. That is P = F/A. Let’s take a look at a real world physics example of how you can calculate the pressure applied on an object. For this example we will look at a circular plate that’s being applied a force over its entire surface equally by some fluid that is under compression.
- First, we need to calculate the area of the circular disk. Let’s assume this disk has a radius of 5m, so the area would be as follows: A = pi*5^2 = 78.50 m^2
- Next, we need to measure the force being applied to the disc. This can typically be done through reading the monitor on the press, or a digital force monitor that’s located on the disc. For this example we will say this has a force of 50N.
- Finally, we calculate the pressure using the formula above, P = F/A = 50N/78.50 m^2. = .64 N/m^2
- Last, analyze your results and see if they match up with expected results.
Pressure is all around is in the form of air pressure that is being applied to our bodies every day. It’s important to understand the basic physics of pressure to better understand our everyday lives.
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