Define the residential or commercial property of pressureDefine and also convert amongst the units of pressure measurementsDescribe the procedure of typical tools because that measuring gas pressureCalculate press from manometer data

The earth’s setting exerts a pressure, as does any kind of other gas. Although we execute not normally an alert atmospheric pressure, we room sensitive to push changes—for example, when your ear “pop” throughout take-off and landing when flying, or when you dive underwater. Gas press is brought about by the pressure exerted by gas molecule colliding with the surface of objects (Figure 1). Although the pressure of each collision is an extremely small, any surface of appreciable area experiences a big number the collisions in a brief time, which can result in a high pressure. In fact, common air push is solid enough come crush a metal container as soon as not balanced by equal push from inside the container.

You are watching: Normal atmospheric pressure is enough to support a column of mercury approximately


Figure 2. Although (a) an elephant’s load is large, developing a very huge force on the ground, (b) the number skater exerts a much greater pressure top top the ice because of the little surface area of her skates. (credit a: change of job-related by Guido da Rozze; credit b: change of job-related by Ryosuke Yagi)

The SI unit of push is the pascal (Pa), through 1 Pa = 1 N/m2, wherein N is the newton, a unit the force characterized as 1 kg m/s2. One pascal is a small pressure; in numerous cases, it is more convenient to use units of kilopascal (1 kPa = 1000 Pa) or bar (1 bar = 100,000 Pa). In the unified States, push is often measured in pounds of pressure on one area the one square inch—pounds per square inch (psi)—for example, in car tires. Press can additionally be measured utilizing the unit atmosphere (atm), which initially represented the median sea level air pressure at the almost right latitude that Paris (45°). Table 1 provides some info on these and also a few other common units for press measurements

Table 1. Press UnitsUnit Name and AbbreviationDefinition or relation to various other Unit
pascal (Pa)1 Pa = 1 N/m2

recommended IUPAC unit

kilopascal (kPa)1 kPa = 1000 Pa
pounds per square customs (psi)air push at sea level is ~14.7 psi
atmosphere (atm)1 atm = 101,325 Pa

air press at sea level is ~1 atm

bar (bar, or b)1 bar = 100,000 Pa (exactly)

commonly provided in meteorology

millibar (mbar, or mb)1000 mbar = 1 bar
inches of mercury (in. Hg)1 in. Hg = 3386 Pa

used through aviation industry, likewise some weather reports

torr\text1 torr=\frac\text1\text760\textatm

named after ~ Evangelista Torricelli, inventor the the barometer

millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)1 mm Hg ~1 torr

Example 1

Conversion of press UnitsThe unified States national Weather company reports press in both inches of Hg and millibars. Convert a pressure of 29.2 in. Hg into:

(a) torr

(b) atm

(c) kPa

(d) mbar


This is a unit counter problem. The relationships between the miscellaneous pressure devices are given in Table 1.

(a) 29.2\cancel\textin Hg\times \frac\text760 torr29.92\cancel\textin Hg=\text742 torr

(b) 742\cancel\texttorr\times \frac\text1 atm760\cancel\texttorr=\text0.976 atm

(c) 742\cancel\texttorr\times \frac\text101.325 kPa760\cancel\texttorr=\text98.9 kPa

(d) 98.9\cancel\textkPa\times \frac1000\cancel\textPa1\cancel\textkPa\phantom\rule0.4em0ex\times \phantom\rule0.4em0ex\frac1\cancel\textbar100,000\cancel\textPa\phantom\rule0.4em0ex\times \phantom\rule0.4em0ex\frac\text1000 mbar1\cancel\textbar=\text989 mbar

Check her Learning

A typical barometric push in Kansas City is 740 torr. What is this press in atmospheres, in millimeters of mercury, in kilopascals, and also in bar?

We have the right to measure atmospheric pressure, the pressure exerted through the setting on the earth surface, v a barometer (Figure 3). A barometer is a glass tube that is closed in ~ one end, filled v a nonvolatile fluid such together mercury, and then inverted and also immersed in a container of the liquid. The atmosphere exerts press on the liquid outside the tube, the pillar of fluid exerts push inside the tube, and the pressure at the liquid surface ar is the same inside and also outside the tube. The height of the liquid in the tube is thus proportional to the push exerted by the atmosphere.


Figure 4. A manometer have the right to be provided to measure the press of a gas. The (difference in) height between the fluid levels (h) is a measure up of the pressure. Mercury is commonly used since of its big density.

Example 3

Calculation of pressure Using a Closed-End Manometer

The push of a sample the gas is measured with a closed-end manometer, as shown to the right. The liquid in the manometer is mercury. Recognize the pressure of the gas in:

(a) torr

(b) Pa

(c) bar


Example 4

Calculation of pressure Using one Open-End Manometer

The push of a sample that gas is measured at sea level through an open-end Hg (mercury) manometer, as displayed to the right. Identify the push of the gas in:

(a) mm Hg

(b) atm

(c) kPa


Measuring Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured making use of a maker called a sphygmomanometer (Greek sphygmos = “pulse”). It is composed of an blow up cuff come restrict blood flow, a manometer to measure up the pressure, and also a method of determining as soon as blood circulation begins and when it i do not care impeded (Figure 5). Since its development in 1881, it has actually been an important medical device. There room many species of sphygmomanometers: manual ones that call for a stethoscope and also are used by clinical professionals; mercury ones, provided when the most accuracy is required; less accurate mechanical ones; and also digital ones that have the right to be offered with small training yet that have limitations. When using a sphygmomanometer, the cuff is placed approximately the top arm and also inflated till blood circulation is totally blocked, then progressively released. Together the love beats, blood required through the arteries reasons a rise in pressure. This climb in press at i beg your pardon blood flow begins is the systolic pressure—the optimal pressure in the cardiac cycle. When the cuff’s pressure amounts to the arterial systolic pressure, blood flows past the cuff, creating audible sound that have the right to be heard making use of a stethoscope. This is complied with by a decrease in push as the heart’s ventricles prepare for one more beat. Together cuff pressure proceeds to decrease, ultimately sound is no much longer heard; this is the diastolic pressure—the lowest push (resting phase) in the cardiac cycle. Blood pressure units indigenous a sphygmomanometer are in regards to millimeters the mercury (mm Hg).


Figure 6. Meteorologists use weather maps come describe and also predict weather. Regions of high (H) and low (L) press have big effects top top weather conditions. The gray lines represent locations of constant pressure recognized as isobars. (credit: change of occupational by national Oceanic and also Atmospheric Administration)

In regards to weather, low-pressure systems take place when the earth’s surface ar atmospheric press is reduced than the bordering environment: Moist air rises and condenses, developing clouds. Motion of moisture and also air within miscellaneous weather fronts instigates most weather events.

The atmosphere is the gaseous layer the surrounds a planet. Earth’s atmosphere, i m sorry is roughly 100–125 km thick, consists of roughly 78.1% nitrogen and also 21.0% oxygen, and also can be subdivided additional into the regions presented in number 7: the exosphere (furthest from earth, > 700 km above sea level), the thermosphere (80–700 km), the mesosphere (50–80 km), the stratosphere (second shortest level of our atmosphere, 12–50 km over sea level), and the troposphere (up come 12 km above sea level, roughly 80% of the earth’s setting by mass and also the great where most weather occasions originate). Together you go higher in the troposphere, wait density and also temperature both decrease.

The push of a sample of gas is measured v an open-end manometer, partially presented to the right. The fluid in the manometer is mercury. Suspect atmospheric press is 29.92 in. Hg, determine the push of the gas in:torrPabar
The push of a sample that gas is measured in ~ sea level through an open-end mercury manometer. Assuming atmospheric push is 760 mm Hg, determine the pressure of the gas in:mm HgatmkPa
How would the use of a volatile liquid impact the measure of a gas making use of open-ended manometers vs. Closed-end manometers?

Selected Answers

1. The cutting edge of a knife that has been sharpened has a smaller surface area 보다 a dull knife. Because pressure is force per unit area, a sharp knife will certainly exert a higher pressure through the same amount that force and cut through material much more effectively.

3. Lying under distributes her weight end a larger surface area, exerting much less pressure ~ above the ice contrasted to was standing up. If friend exert less pressure, girlfriend are much less likely come break through thin ice.

5. Convert 615 mm Hg to settings using 760 mm Hg = 1 atm. Use 1 atm = 101.325 kPa in the 2nd part.\text615 mm Hg\times \frac1\textatm760\textmmHg=0.809\textatm\text0.809 atm\times \frac101.325\textkPa1\textatm=82.0\textkPa

7. 32.0\cancel\textlb\cancel\textin^\text-2\times \frac1\cancel\textatm14.7\cancel\textlb\cancel\textin^\text-2\phantom\rule0.4em0ex\times \phantom\rule0.4em0ex\frac\text101.325 kPa1\cancel\textatm=2.2\times 10^2\textkPa

9. Identify: 14.7 lb in–2 = 1 atm88.8\cancel\textatm\times \frac\text14.7 lb\textin^\text-21\cancel\textatm=13.1\times 10^3\textlb\textin^\text-2

11. (a) 29.97\cancel\textin. Hg\times \frac\text101.325 kPa29.92\cancel\textin. Hg=\text101.5 kPa;

(b) 28.0\cancel\textin. Hg\times \frac\text760 torr29.92\cancel\textin. Hg=\text711 torr; 762 – 711 = 51 torr drop

13. (a) 26.4\cancel\textcm\times \frac10\cancel\textmm1\cancel\textcm\phantom\rule0.4em0ex\times \phantom\rule0.4em0ex\frac\text1 torr1\cancel\textmm=\text264 torr;

(b) \text264 torr\times \frac101,\text325 Pa\text760 torr=35,\text200 Pa;

(c) 264\cancel\texttorr\times \frac\text1.01325 bar760\cancel\texttorr=\text0.352 bar

15. The press of the gas equals the hydrostatic pressure due to the pressure of the atmosphere at sea level minus a obelisk of mercury of elevation 13.7 cm. The pressure on the left is due to the gas and the push on the ideal is as result of the atmospheric pressure minus 13.7 centimeter Hg).

See more: A Perpetual Inventory System Continually Updates Accounting Records For Merchandising Transactions.

(a) In mm Hg, this is: 760 mm Hg – 137 mm Hg = 623 mm Hg;

(b) \text623 mm Hg\times \frac\text1 atm\text760 mm Hg=0.820 atm;

(c) \text0.820 atm\times \frac\text101.325 kPa\text1 atm=\text83.1 kPa

17. With a closed-end manometer, no readjust would be observed, due to the fact that the vaporized liquid would add equal, opposing pressures in both arms of the manometer tube. However, with an open-ended manometer, a greater pressure analysis of the gas would certainly be obtained than expected, due to the fact that Pgas = Patm + Pvol liquid.