Define the building of pressureDefine and also convert among the units of press measurementsDescribe the operation of common tools for measuring gas pressureCalculate push from manometer data

The earth’s atmosphere exerts a pressure, as does any other gas. Return we do not normally notice atmospheric pressure, we room sensitive to pressure changes—for example, as soon as your ear “pop” throughout take-off and landing while flying, or as soon as you dive underwater. Gas pressure is caused by the pressure exerted by gas molecule colliding through the surface of objects (Figure 1). Return the pressure of each collision is an extremely small, any surface that appreciable area experiences a large number of collisions in a brief time, which can an outcome in a high pressure. In fact, normal air pressure is solid enough to crush a metal container as soon as not well balanced by equal push from within the container.

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Figure 1. The atmosphere above us exerts a big pressure on objects at the surface ar of the earth, roughly equal come the load of a bowling ball pushing on an area the dimension of a human thumbnail.


A dramatic illustration of atmospheric press is noted in this short video, which reflects a railway tanker vehicle imploding once its inner pressure is decreased.

A smaller range demonstration of this phenomenon is summary explained.

Atmospheric pressure is caused by the load of the shaft of air molecule in the atmosphere above an object, such together the tanker car. At sea level, this pressure is roughly the same as the exerted by a full-grown afri elephant standing on a doormat, or a common bowling ball relaxing on her thumbnail. These might seem like vast amounts, and they are, but life on earth has advanced under together atmospheric pressure. If you in reality perch a bowling ball on her thumbnail, the push experienced is twice the normal pressure, and also the sensation is unpleasant.

In general, pressure is identified as the pressure exerted ~ above a offered area: P = \fracFA. Note that press is directly proportional to force and inversely proportional to area. Thus, pressure can be enhanced either by enhancing the quantity of pressure or by decreasing the area end which the is applied; pressure can be diminished by to decrease the force or raising the area.

Let’s use this ide to identify which would be much more likely to fall through thin ice cream in number 2—the elephant or the number skater? A huge African elephant can weigh 7 tons, sustained on 4 feet, each v a diameter of around 1.5 ft (footprint area that 250 in2), therefore the push exerted by every foot is about 14 lb/in2:

\textpressure every elephant foot = 14,000 \frac\textlb\textelephant \times \frac1 \;\textelephant4 \;\textfeet \times \frac1 \;\textfoot250 \;\textin^2 = 14 \;\textlb/in^2

The figure skater weighs about 120 lbs, supported on 2 skate blades, each v an area of around 2 in2, therefore the press exerted by each blade is about 30 lb/in2:

\textpressure per skate blade = 120 \frac\textlb\textskater \times \frac1 \;\textskater2 \;\textblades \times \frac1 \;\textblade2 \;\textin^2 = 30 \;\textlb/in^2

Even despite the elephant is an ext than one hundred-times heavier 보다 the skater, it exerts less than one-half of the pressure and also would as such be much less likely to loss though slim ice. On the various other hand, if the skater removes her skates and stands with bare feet (or regular footwear) on the ice, the bigger area over which her weight is applied greatly to reduce the push exerted:

\textpressure per person foot = 120 \frac\textlb\textskater \times \frac1 \;\textskater2 \;\textfeet \times \frac1 \;\textfoot30 \;\textin^2 = 2 \;\textlb/in^2
Figure 2. although (a) an elephant’s weight is large, developing a very huge force ~ above the ground, (b) the figure skater exerts a much higher pressure on the ice due to the small surface area of her skates. (credit a: alteration of work-related by Guido da Rozze; credit b: modification of work-related by Ryosuke Yagi)

The SI unit of press is the pascal (Pa), with 1 Pa = 1 N/m2, where N is the newton, a unit of force characterized as 1 kg m/s2. One pascal is a small pressure; in plenty of cases, that is more convenient to use systems of kilopascal (1 kPa = 1000 Pa) or bar (1 bar = 100,000 Pa). In the united States, push is often measured in pounds of pressure on one area that one square inch—pounds every square inch (psi)—for example, in automobile tires. Push can additionally be measured using the unit atmosphere (atm), which originally represented the typical sea level air pressure at the almost right latitude the Paris (45°). Table 1 gives some info on these and a couple of other typical units for push measurements

Unit Name and AbbreviationDefinition or relationship to various other Unit
pascal (Pa)1 Pa = 1 N/m2

recommended IUPAC unit

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

commonly used in meteorology

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

used by aviation industry, additionally some weather reports

torr1 \;\texttorr = \frac1760 \;\textatm

named after ~ Evangelista Torricelli, inventor the the barometer

millimeters the mercury (mm Hg)1 mm Hg ~1 torr
Table 1. Pressure Units

Example 1

Conversion of press UnitsThe unified States national Weather business reports push in both inch of Hg and millibars. Convert a push of 29.2 in. Hg into:

(a) torr

(b) atm

(c) kPa

(d) mbar

SolutionThis is a unit conversion problem. The relationships between the assorted pressure units are given in Table 1.

(a) 29.2 \;\rule<0.5ex>2.2em0.1ex\hspace-2.2em\textin Hg \times \frac25.4 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.2em0.1ex\hspace-1.2em\textmm1 \;\rule<0.25ex>0.6em0.1ex\hspace-0.6em\textin \times \frac1 \;\texttorr1 \;\rule<0.25ex>2em0.1ex\hspace-2em\textmm Hg = 742 \;\texttorr

(b) 742 \;\rule<0.5ex>1.8em0.1ex\hspace-1.8em\texttorr \times \frac1 \;\textatm760 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.2em0.1ex\hspace-1.2em\texttorr = 0.976 \;\textatm

(c) 742 \;\rule<0.5ex>1.8em0.1ex\hspace-1.8em\texttorr \times \frac101.325 \;\textkPa760 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.0em0.1ex\hspace-1.0em\texttorr = 98.9 \;\textkPa

(d) 98.9 \;\rule<0.5ex>1.9em0.1ex\hspace-1.9em\textkPa \times \frac1000 \;\rule<0.25ex>0.9em0.1ex\hspace-0.9em\textPa1 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.1em0.1ex\hspace-1.1em\textkPa \times \frac1 \;\rule<0.25ex>0.9em0.1ex\hspace-0.9em\textbar100,000 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.0em0.1ex\hspace-1.0em\textPa \times \frac1000 \;\textmbar1 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.0em0.1ex\hspace-1.0em\textbar = 989 \;\textmbar

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

We deserve to measure atmospheric pressure, the pressure exerted through the environment on the earth’s surface, through a barometer (Figure 3). A barometer is a glass tube that is closed in ~ one end, filled through a nonvolatile fluid such together mercury, and also then inverted and also immersed in a container of that liquid. The setting exerts pressure on the liquid outside the tube, the tower of fluid exerts pressure inside the tube, and also the pressure at the liquid surface ar is the same inside and outside the tube. The height of the liquid in the pipe is as such proportional come the pressure exerted by the atmosphere.

Figure 3. In a barometer, the height, h, the the shaft of liquid is offered as a measure of the air pressure. Using an extremely dense liquid mercury (left) permits the construction of sensibly sized barometers, whereas utilizing water (right) would call for a barometer much more than 30 feet tall.

If the fluid is water, common atmospheric push will assistance a obelisk of water over 10 meter high, which is rather inconvenient for making (and reading) a barometer. Because mercury (Hg) is around 13.6-times denser than water, a mercury barometer only needs to be \frac113.6 together tall as a water barometer—a more suitable size. Typical atmospheric push of 1 atm in ~ sea level (101,325 Pa) coincides to a tower of mercury that is around 760 mm (29.92 in.) high. The torr was initially intended to be a unit same to one millimeter the mercury, yet it no longer corresponds exactly. The press exerted by a fluid due to gravity is recognized as hydrostatic pressure, p:

where h is the elevation of the fluid, ρ is the density of the fluid, and g is acceleration because of gravity.

Example 2

Calculation the Barometric PressureShow the calculation supporting the case that atmospheric pressure close to sea level synchronizes to the pressure exerted by a pillar of mercury that is about 760 mm high. The thickness of mercury = 13.6 g/cm3.

SolutionThe hydrostatic press is offered by p = hρg, with h = 760 mm, ρ = 13.6 g/cm3, and also g = 9.81 m/s2. Plugging these values right into the equation and doing the necessary unit counter will offer us the worth we seek. (Note: We space expecting to uncover a pressure of ~101,325 Pa:)

101,325 N/ \textm^2 = 101,325 \frac\textkg \cdot \textm/s^2\textm^2 = 101,325 \frac\textkg\textm \cdot \texts^2
=l} p & (760 \;\textmm \times \frac1 \;\textm1000 \;\textmm) \times (\frac13.6 \;\textg1 \;\textcm^3 \times \frac1 \;\textkg1000 \;\textg \times \frac(100 \;\textcm)^3(1 \;\textm)^3) \times (\frac9.81 \;\textm1 \;\texts^2) \\<1em> & (0.760 \;\textm) (13,600 \;\textkg/m^3) (9.81 \;\textm/s^2) = 1.01 \times 10^5 \;\textkg/ms^2 = 1.01 \times 10^5 \;N/ \textm^2 \\<1em> & 1.01 \times 10^5 \;\textPa \endarray

Check your LearningCalculate the elevation of a pillar of water in ~ 25 °C that coincides to common atmospheric pressure. The density of water at this temperature is 1.0 g/cm3.

A manometer is a machine similar come a barometer that deserve to be offered to measure the pressure of a gas trapped in a container. A closed-end manometer is a U-shaped tube with one closeup of the door arm, one eight that connects come the gas to it is in measured, and a nonvolatile liquid (usually mercury) in between. As with a barometer, the distance in between the fluid levels in the 2 arms of the tube (h in the diagram) is proportional come the push of the gas in the container. An open-end manometer (Figure 4) is the same as a closed-end manometer, but one that its eight is open to the atmosphere. In this case, the distance in between the liquid levels corresponds to the distinction in pressure in between the gas in the container and the atmosphere.

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

Example 3

Calculation of pressure Using a Closed-End ManometerThe pressure of a sample of gas is measured v a closed-end manometer, as displayed to the right. The fluid in the manometer is mercury. Determine the pressure of the gas in:

(a) torr

(b) Pa

(c) bar


SolutionThe push of the gas is same to a pillar of mercury of elevation 26.4 cm. (The pressure at the bottom horizontal line is same on both sides of the tube. The pressure on the left is as result of the gas and also the press on the ideal is as result of 26.4 centimeter Hg, or mercury.) We can use the equation p = hρg together in example 2, but it is easier to just convert in between units using Table 1.

(a) 26.4 \;\rule<0.5ex>2.8em0.1ex\hspace-2.8em\textcm Hg \times \frac10 \;\rule<0.25ex>2.5em0.1ex\hspace-2.5em\textmm Hg1 \;\rule<0.25ex>2.5em0.1ex\hspace-2.5em\textmm Hg \times \frac1 \;\texttorr1 \;\rule<0.25ex>2.5em0.1ex\hspace-2.5em\textmm Hg = 264 \;\texttorr

(b) 264 \;\rule<0.5ex>1.7em0.1ex\hspace-1.7em\texttorr \times \frac1 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.3em0.1ex\hspace-1.3em\textatm760 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.3em0.1ex\hspace-1.3em\texttorr \times \frac101,325 \;\textPa1 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.3em0.1ex\hspace-1,3em\textatm = 35,200 \;\textPa

(c) 35,200 \;\rule<0.5ex>1.2em0.1ex\hspace-1.2em\textPa \times \frac1 \;\textbar100,000 \;\rule<0.25ex>1em0.1ex\hspace-1em\textPa = 0.352 \;\textbar

Check your LearningThe pressure of a sample the gas is measured with a closed-end manometer. The fluid in the manometer is mercury. Identify the push of the gas in:

(a) torr

(b) Pa

(c) bar


Example 4

Calculation of pressure Using an Open-End ManometerThe press of a sample that gas is measured at sea level through an open-end Hg (mercury) manometer, as presented to the right. Recognize the pressure of the gas in:

(a) mm Hg

(b) atm

(c) kPa


SolutionThe push of the gas equates to the hydrostatic pressure as result of a shaft of mercury of elevation 13.7 centimeter plus the press of the atmosphere at sea level. (The press at the bottom horizontal heat is equal on both sides of the tube. The press on the left is due to the gas and also the press on the ideal is as result of 13.7 centimeter of Hg to add atmospheric pressure.)

(a) In mm Hg, this is: 137 mm Hg + 760 mm Hg = 897 mm Hg

(b) 897 \;\rule<0.5ex>3em0.1ex\hspace-3em\textmm Hg \times \frac1 \;\textatm760 \;\rule<0.25ex>2.5em0.1ex\hspace-2.5em\textmm Hg = 1.18 \;\textatm

(c) 1.18 \;\rule<0.5ex>1.8em0.1ex\hspace-1.8em\textatm \times \frac101.325 \;\textkPa1 \;\rule<0.25ex>1.5em0.1ex\hspace-1.5em\textatm = 1.20 \times 10^2 \;\textkPa

Check your LearningThe push of a sample of gas is measured at sea level through an open-end Hg manometer, as displayed to the right. Recognize the pressure of the gas in:

(a) mm Hg

(b) atm

(c) kPa


Measuring Blood Pressure

Blood press is measured using a machine called a sphygmomanometer (Greek sphygmos = “pulse”). It is composed of an blow up cuff come restrict blood flow, a manometer to measure the pressure, and a technique of determining once blood circulation begins and when it i do not care impeded (Figure 5). Because its innovation in 1881, it has actually been an important medical device. There space many species of sphygmomanometers: hands-on ones that call for a stethoscope and are used by medical professionals; mercury ones, supplied when the most accuracy is required; less accurate mechanically ones; and digital persons that deserve to be offered with small training however that have actually limitations. When using a sphygmomanometer, the cuff is placed about the upper arm and inflated until blood flow is completely blocked, then gradually released. Together the heart beats, blood forced through the arteries causes a climb in pressure. This climb in pressure at i beg your pardon blood flow starts is the systolic pressure—the top pressure in the cardiac cycle. When the cuff’s pressure equals the arterial systolic pressure, blood flows previous the cuff, developing audible sounds that have the right to be heard making use of a stethoscope. This is complied with by a to decrease in pressure as the heart’s ventricles prepare for another beat. Together cuff pressure proceeds to decrease, ultimately sound is no longer heard; this is the diastolic pressure—the lowest press (resting phase) in the cardiac cycle. Blood press units indigenous a sphygmomanometer space in terms of millimeters that mercury (mm Hg).

Figure 5. (a) A clinical technician prepares to measure up a patient’s blood push with a sphygmomanometer. (b) A typical sphygmomanometer offers a valved rubber bulb to inflate the cuff and a diaphragm gauge to measure up pressure. (credit a: change of occupational by grasp Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Meteorology, Climatology, and also Atmospheric Science

Throughout the ages, people have it was observed clouds, winds, and also precipitation, trying to discern patterns and also make predictions: when it is best to plant and harvest; whether it is safe to collection out ~ above a sea voyage; and much more. We now face complex weather and atmosphere-related obstacles that will have actually a significant impact on our civilization and also the ecosystem. Several various scientific techniques use chemical ethics to aid us much better understand weather, the atmosphere, and also climate. These room meteorology, climatology, and atmospheric science. Meteorology is the examine of the atmosphere, atmospheric phenomena, and also atmospheric impacts on earth weather. Meteorologists look for to understand and predict the weather in the brief term, which have the right to save lives and also benefit the economy. Weather prediction (Figure 6) are the result of thousands of measurements of air pressure, temperature, and the like, which are compiled, modeled, and also analyzed in weather centers worldwide.

Figure 6. Meteorologists usage weather maps come describe and predict weather. Areas of high (H) and low (L) pressure have huge effects ~ above weather conditions. The gray currently represent locations of continuous pressure well-known as isobars. (credit: change of work-related by national Oceanic and also Atmospheric Administration)

In regards to weather, low-pressure systems happen when the earth’s surface atmospheric pressure is lower than the neighboring environment: Moist waiting rises and condenses, producing clouds. Activity of moisture and air within assorted weather fronts instigates many weather events.

The atmosphere is the gaseous layer that surrounds a planet. Earth’s atmosphere, which is about 100–125 km thick, consists of about 78.1% nitrogen and also 21.0% oxygen, and also can it is in subdivided more into the regions presented in number 7: the exosphere (furthest native earth, > 700 km above sea level), the thermosphere (80–700 km), the mesosphere (50–80 km), the stratosphere (second lowest level of our atmosphere, 12–50 km over sea level), and also the troposphere (up to 12 km above sea level, about 80% that the earth’s environment by mass and also the great where most weather occasions originate). As you go greater in the troposphere, wait density and temperature both decrease.

figure 7. Earth’s environment has 5 layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and also the exosphere.

Climatology is the research of the climate, average weather conditions over long time periods, utilizing atmospheric data. However, climatologists research patterns and also effects that occur over decades, centuries, and also millennia, fairly than shorter time frames of hours, days, and also weeks like meteorologists. Atmospheric scientific research is one even more comprehensive field, combine meteorology, climatology, and other scientific self-controls that study the atmosphere.

Key Concepts and also Summary

Gases exert pressure, which is pressure per unit area. The press of a gas may be to express in the SI unit of pascal or kilopascal, and in numerous other units consisting of torr, atmosphere, and bar. Atmospheric press is measured utilizing a barometer; various other gas pressures can be measure using one of several species of manometers.

Key EquationsP = \fracFAp = h \rho g

Chemistry finish of thing Exercises

Why space sharp knives much more effective than dull knives (Hint: think around the definition of pressure)?Why do some small bridges have weight borders that rely on how many wheels or axles the crossing automobile has?Why must you roll or belly-crawl fairly than walk throughout a thinly-frozen pond?A usual barometric push in Redding, California, is about 750 mm Hg. Calculation this push in atm and also kPa.A typical barometric pressure in Denver, Colorado, is 615 mm Hg. What is this press in atmospheres and also kilopascals?A typical barometric push in Kansas City is 740 torr. What is this push in atmospheres, in millimeter of mercury, and also in kilopascals?Canadian tire pressure gauges are marked in units of kilopascals. What analysis on together a gauge corresponds to 32 psi?During the Viking landings top top Mars, the atmospheric pressure was established to it is in on the average about 6.50 millibars (1 bar = 0.987 atm). What is that press in torr and also kPa?The push of the environment on the surface of the world Venus is around 88.8 atm. Compare that press in psi come the normal press on earth at sea level in psi.A clinical laboratory brochure describes the pressure in a cylinder of a gas together 14.82 MPa. What is the press of this gas in atmospheres and also torr?Consider this scenario and answer the complying with questions: top top a mid-August day in the northeastern joined States, the complying with information showed up in the regional newspaper: atmospheric press at sea level 29.97 in., 1013.9 mbar.

(a) What to be the pressure in kPa?

(b) The pressure near the seacoast in the northeastern United says is typically reported near 30.0 in. Hg. Throughout a hurricane, the press may autumn to near 28.0 in. Hg. Calculate the drop in press in torr.

Why is it necessary to usage a nonvolatile fluid in a barometer or manometer?The push of a sample the gas is measured in ~ sea level v a closed-end manometer. The liquid in the manometer is mercury. Recognize the pressure of the gas in:

(a) torr

(b) Pa

(c) bar

The press of a sample the gas is measured through an open-end manometer, partially displayed to the right. The liquid in the manometer is mercury. Suspect atmospheric push is 29.92 in. Hg, determine the pressure of the gas in:(a) torr

(b) Pa

(c) bar

The press of a sample the gas is measured at sea level with an open-end mercury manometer. Presume atmospheric pressure is 760.0 mm Hg, determine the push of the gas in:(a) mm Hg

(b) atm

(c) kPa

The pressure of a sample of gas is measured in ~ sea level with an open-end mercury manometer. Presume atmospheric press is 760 mm Hg, determine the push of the gas in:(a) mm Hg

(b) atm

(c) kPa

How would the use of a volatile liquid influence the measure of a gas making use of open-ended manometers vs. Closed-end manometers?


atmosphere (atm)unit that pressure; 1 atm = 101,325 Pabar(bar or b) unit the pressure; 1 bar = 100,000 Pabarometerdevice offered to measure atmospheric pressurehydrostatic pressurepressure exerted by a fluid due to gravitymanometerdevice offered to measure up the push of a gas trapped in a containerpascal (Pa)SI unit that pressure; 1 Pa = 1 N/m2pounds every square customs (psi)unit the pressure typical in the USpressureforce exerted per unit areatorrunit that pressure; 1 \;\texttorr = \frac1760 \;\textatm


Answers to Chemistry end of chapter Exercises

1. The cutting edge of a knife that has actually been sharpened has a smaller surface area than a dull knife. Since pressure is pressure per unit area, a sharp knife will certainly exert a higher pressure through the very same amount of force and cut v material an ext effectively.

3. Lying down distributes your weight end a bigger surface area, exerting less pressure on the ice compared to standing up. If girlfriend exert less pressure, you are much less likely to break with thin ice.

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5. 0.809 atm; 82.0 kPa

7. 2.2 × 102 kPa

9. Earth: 14.7 lb in–2; Venus: 13.1 × 103 lb in−2

11. (a) 101.5 kPa; (b) 51 torr drop

13. (a) 264 torr; (b) 35,200 Pa; (c) 0.352 bar

15. (a) 623 mm Hg; (b) 0.820 atm; (c) 83.1 kPa

17. Through a closed-end manometer, no change would be observed, since the vaporized fluid would contribute equal, opposing pressure in both arms of the manometer tube. However, v an open-ended manometer, a greater pressure reading of the gas would certainly be derived than expected, since Pgas = Patm + Pvol liquid.