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Consider a thermally conducting cylinder with one end open and other end closed but having a small hole on it. Now, if a piston is held at some distance from the closed end, will it be able to remain at rest, ie attain an equilibrium.

I learnt that the air from the hole enters the cylinder, hence creating a pressure equal to the atmospheric pressure in the volume enclosed by the closed end and piston. So shouldn't the pressure forces on either side of the piston cancel out hence making the piston fall due to its own weight? (Assuming no frictional effects)

Am I missing something?

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It sounds like the piston will fall but I'll make some assumptions first: 1. The cylinder is standing vertical. 2. No friction. 3. Disregarding "thermally conducting" as there is no other info pertaining to it.

If both sides of the cylinder are open to atmospheric pressure then the piston has to be able to fall but if you were instructed otherwise then it sounds like there is some information missing in your question.

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  • $\begingroup$ I had to solve a problem with the same scenario and it asked me to find the pressure in the closed chamber AFTER SOME WORK HAS BEEN DONE TO PULL IT DOWN. The answer is pretty direct - atmospheric pressure, but I was wondering why did we even have to do work in pulling. No information about friction was given, so I'll assume that the work done was against friction $\endgroup$ – Mathboi Jun 29 at 13:52

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