Force per unit area.

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47
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12answers
11k views

How long a straw could Superman use?

To suck water through a straw, you create a partial vacuum in your lungs. Water rises through the straw until the pressure in the straw at the water level equals atmospheric pressure. This ...
45
votes
5answers
11k views

Why does a candle blow out when we blow on it? Our breath is 16% oxygen and only 4% CO2

Don't say that a layer of carbon dioxide covers the flame, because our breath has more oxygen than carbon dioxide. Also, our breath does not cool the flame as it is itself warm. So what is happening ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

Is it possible to “cook” pasta at room temperature with low enough pressure?

It is known fact, that boiling point of water decreases by decreasing of pressure. So there is a pressure at which water boils at room temperature. Would it be possible to cook e.g. pasta at room ...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

Why don't things get destroyed by gas molecules flying around?

Gas molecules go at an insane velocity, and though they are miniscule, yet there is a LOT of them. Of course, because of all these molecules hurtling around, there is air pressure; yet if you envision ...
25
votes
4answers
548 views

Are bubbles in ice at a lower or higher pressure than atmospheric pressure?

When water phase-transitions into ice it expands. The water usually contains dissolved air. Freezing forces the air out of the solution into bubbles. Are these bubbles at a lower or higher pressure ...
24
votes
16answers
7k views

Doesn't a box holding a vacuum weigh the same as a box full of air?

This was recently brought up, and I haven't been able to conclude a solid answer. Let's say we have two identical boxes (A and ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Why can you “suck in” cooked spaghetti?

We all know that there is no "sucking", only pushing. So how are cooked spaghetti pushed into your mouth? The air pressure applies orthogonal on the spaghetti surface. Where does the component ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is the pressure inside a soap bubble higher than outside?

Apparently, the air inside a soap bubble is under higher pressure than the surrounding air. This is for instance apparent in the sound bubbles make when they burst. Why is the pressure inside the ...
21
votes
10answers
8k views

Does car tire pressure change with weight of car load?

Does tire pressure measured by a meter on tire gauge change with load? (I am not interested in pressure produced by car tires onto the road). Car spec usually says "inflate to 220kPa normal load, ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is stress a tensor quantity?

Why is stress a tensor quantity? Why is pressure not a tensor? According to what I know pressure is an internal force whereas stress is external so how are both quantities not tensors? I am ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do bubbles make a sound?

I have an understanding of how bubbles work. They encapsulate air (or other fluids) in a membrane caused by surface tension. When they pop, there is often a sound. Sound is a type of energy, kinetic ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Pool in a submarine

A common theme in aquatic science fiction is the submarine pool/access to the ocean. That terrible TV show Seaquest had it, The Deep & Deep Blue Sea (Samuel L Jackson is standing in front of it ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't I feel pressure on my body when swimming under water?

If I put a couple of lead bricks on my foot, there would be a definite sensation of a heavy, perhaps even painful, force. Calculating the pressure for $20 kg$ of lead over a $100 cm^2$ area of my ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Why does my refrigerator door resist opening?

After closing my refrigerator's door I noticed that it's much harder to reopen it immediately, as if there's an underpressure. Only after a minute or so it opens normally. How can this be explained?
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Why can't CO$_2$ mix back with the liquid after a soda bottle has been shaken?

If you shake a soda bottle before opening it, and then open it, you get the fizz. That is the compressed CO2 releasing to the atmosphere which is at comparatively low pressure value. Two questions ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does my fireplace shoot flames out the front until I open my backdoor?

I have a natural gas fireplace with fake logs in it. I open the flue, turn on the gas for a couple seconds, and throw a match in. The flames kind of go up and out of the flue, but most of the flames ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

What is meant by Vacuum?

What is the exact meaning of the word vacuum? Is it just a state of very low pressure or is it nothingness (as in there is nothing)? Also, when we say space is vacuum - it must be referring to ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How does a steady wind flow generate sound?

When a wind blow through sharp edge, say, edge of a paper, you can see the vibration of the paper and hear the sound. For this type of oscillation, it should be a damped oscillation with external ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to model/simulate pressures and flows in a network of pipes

I'm having a hard time finding information on how to model/simulate this. I attached a couple files, both of which show an example tank & pump network. It's just nonsense that I made up for this ...
11
votes
2answers
147 views

How quickly should a fluid come to hydrostatic equilibrium?

Let's say I'm holding a one-liter water bottle, full of water, which I then drop. Before dropping the water bottle, the equilibrium is for there to be a pressure gradient in the water canceling the ...
10
votes
2answers
787 views

Movie airplanes and suction

Having watched a recent action movie (with zombies in it) I wondered whether the suction from a hole in the airplane's hull would really be able to rip out luggage, persons and even seating benches. ...
10
votes
2answers
352 views

What if the lid of a pressure cooker was suddenly released?

My dad and I have tried to calculate the strength of the explosion if the lid was suddenly freed. We took some measures: Lid mass: $0.7 \textrm{kg}$ Lid surface: $0.415 \textrm{m}^2$ Internal ...
10
votes
2answers
699 views

When blowing air through a tube, why does it act differently if I press the tube against my mouth, or hold it an inch away?

So I have a tube of wrapping paper. It's at least a couple of feet long and maybe two inches wide. If I press one end of the tube firmly against my mouth and blow, I barely feel warm air come out ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the aorta spray blood when atmospheric pressure is higher than blood pressure?

Atmospherical pressure is around 760 mmHg, while blood pressure is on average 100 mmHg. Then why do you bleed from cuts, and why does a cut aorta spray blood? The atmosphere should press the blood ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Why does my door shut faster when the window is open?

I've noticed that if I shut my door when the window is open in a room, the door will tend to shut faster. If I shut the door when the window is closed with a normal force it will not fully close as if ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

Why will crushing a partially empty 2-liter bottle keep the soda more fizzy?

One of the curses of 2-liter bottles is that when carbonated beverages are stored in them for long periods (i.e. days between drinks) at least the last liter ends up being flat. However, if after ...
10
votes
2answers
191 views

How strong is electron degeneracy pressure?

I'm trying to get some specific numbers for electron degeneracy that I can understand, using a concrete example. Take for example this portion of carbon crystal: Exactly how much energy would be ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

If I take a bottle of air into space, and open it, where does it go?

It seems to me that space doesn't have any/much air, and if my bottle is full of air, when I open it, where does the air go?
9
votes
9answers
20k views

Why does the gas get cold when I spray it?

When you spray gas from a compressed spray, the gas gets very cold, even though, the compressed spray is in the room temperature. I think, when it goes from high pressure to lower one, it gets cold, ...
9
votes
1answer
809 views

Why doesn't a bus blow due to internal pressure?

When one travels in a bus, if he's sitting at any window, he will feel that the air is coming inside. If someone is standing at the open door of the bus, he'll also feel that the air is coming ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What about negative Pressure?

Here is something I see : Let's say the ideal fluid(water here) of density $\rho$ is drawn from a source by a motor and thrown upwards with a velocity $v$. Now we take the power of motor be ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Gay-Lussac's Law & the Patriots

This may be a question better suited for xkcd what if? section...but here goes: with all the hoopla around the patriots / colts game and allegations of cheating by deflating footballs, I've read/heard ...
9
votes
0answers
245 views

Definition of stress at the microscale

Take, for simplicity, a Lennard-Jones fluid below the critical temperature, which is to say that there is a phase separation into fluid and gas and thus an interface is formed. The macroscale picture ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Would you die before reaching the ground?

If you were to jump off a tall building, let's say Burj Khalifa, is it true that the pressure difference would be so strong as to kill you before reaching the ground?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Water pressure in free fall

The increasing water pressure as you go deeper is generally explained in terms of the weight of the water column above the observation point pressing down. The question, then, is what would happen if ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does the water level equalize in a series of tubes?

Say I have a series of tubes (not the internet) looking like this, where w represents water: ...
8
votes
6answers
324 views

Jumping sewer lid - WHY?

Intro: Few hours ago, there was a storm. We heard some constant banging which couldn't be explained by thundering. Then we found out, it was a sewer lid jumping. Maybe it's normal in other parts of ...
8
votes
2answers
685 views

Why water in the sink follow a curved path?

When you fill the sink with water and then allow the water to be drained, the water forms a vortex.. And then it starts to follow a curved path downwards by effects of gravity.. Why this phenomena ...
8
votes
2answers
188 views

Do siphons really require air pressure to function?

Can the siphon mechanism work in vacuums? There seems to have been experiments where exotic liquids (low vapor pressure) were used in siphons mounted in vacuum chambers. The idea is that the falling ...
8
votes
1answer
954 views

Ping-pong ball pontoon

Imagine a vertical pipe (both ends opened) in the water. Drop several ping-pong balls into pipe and cover them with a cylinder. When you have enough balls, the cylinder will float. Now start adding ...
7
votes
1answer
865 views

Do we breathe air by creating a vacuum?

How do we suck air into our lungs, are we generating a vacuum?
7
votes
2answers
536 views

At the molecular level, how is the pressure at the bottom of a lake higher than at the top?

Surely the temperature of the molecules is the same throughout the water. Using $p = \rho g h$ seems to assume a constant density as well. But then how is it that the force per unit area on an object ...
7
votes
1answer
648 views

How to make the bubbles in my soda drink last longer?

I would like to make the bubbles in my soda drink last longer. For example, one good thing to do is to keep the bottle shut when you don't drink. But what else I can do? Should I try to minimize the ...
7
votes
1answer
224 views

Why water wont leak out in this case? (Picture provided)

just curious why the water in the aquarium tank would not leak out as shown in the picture provided below? The question is in the red circle. The water level in the aquarium tank is definitely higher ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What would ACTUALLY happen to a person jettisoned into space?

[insert obligatory statement of my lack of knowledge in physics] Alright, so we have all seen the movies where someone gets blasted out of the airlock on their starship, or their suit decompresses ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Can air bubbles sink at extreme depths? [duplicate]

I was thinking earlier about air bubbles in water. if you had a bubble of air (say in a balloon) then as you take it down in water the bubble shrinks because of the pressure and because it is ...
7
votes
2answers
119 views

Why does a tail of a balloon poodle not collapse?

I was just wondering. How can it not collapse? There is pressure in the tail top and in tail itself. How can that little "bridge" (with that I mean the part that in not inflated, see image 2) and tail ...
7
votes
1answer
716 views

Weather forecasting with coffee bubbles

The other day I saw this life-hack: And I was wondering how true it is. First of all, I always thought(listening to weather forecasts) that low-pressure atmosphere is what correlates with rain; ...
7
votes
5answers
293 views

Negative pressure, tension, and energy conditions

We have lots of common everyday experience with positive pressure, the canonical example is a gas. But other examples of positive pressure are easy to imagine: for instance, a solid that gets ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the meaning of pressure of a gas

I understand the meaning of pressure on a surface to be force acting per unit area. But when it comes to understanding pressure in the context of fluids in motion or at rest I think I am having some ...