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Pressure, Thrust, Area and Pascal’s Law

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“In Pascal’s law we find that pressure does not increase with area. But when we study about pressure, we learn that pressure is inversely proportional to area. How is this possible? Please explain.”

Fahad Imtiaz asked via Speak Pipe

 

Answer:

Pressure is defined as the thrust (the total force acting normal to a surface) per unit area.

Pascal’s law deals with fluid pressure and the statement goes –

“The pressure exerted anywhere in an enclosed incompressible and non-viscous fluid is transmitted equally and undiminished in all directions through out the fluid, provided the effect of gravity is neglected”

Read the statement carefully.

Here we are not changing the definition or meaning of pressure.

the fact to note that, in an enclosed fluid, the pressure is transmitted equally throughout the fluid. Therefore, if we apply some pressure somewhere in the fluid, the same pressure will be felt  at any other place on the enclosed fluid. This gives us an opportunity to multiply the force. Since the pressure is equal everywhere, if we increase the area the force (thrust) is increased.

P = F/A or F = PA

So, pressure remaining constant, greater the area, greater is the force.

Hope you understand the matter now.

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