Enter the total force and the area that force is being applied to calculate the total pressure on an object or system.

Pressure Formula

The formula for pressure is the following:

P = F/A

  • Where P is the pressure
  • F is the force
  • A is the area

Pressure is also a measure of the 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 then be calculated by the following:

Pressure (P) = Work / Volume

Pressure Definition

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.

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 to 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.

  1. 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
  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.
  3. Finally, we calculate the pressure using the formula above, P = F/A = 50N/78.50 m^2. = .64 N/m^2
  4. Last, analyze your results and see if they match up with expected results.

FAQ

What is pressure?

Pressure is a measure the force per unit area.

Pressure Calculator
pressure formula