# Difference between pressure and stress

by PerpStudent
Tags: difference, pressure, stress
 P: 27 Both pressure and stress are defined in terms of force per unit area. Beyond that simple relationship, what might constitute a good intuitive way to distinguish these two concepts?
 P: 349 They are basically the same thing and the terms used tend to reflect context rather than physics. You would use 'Stress' when dealing with stretching etc, pressure when dealing with gases etc. Similar 'problems' occur with Newton.metres which can mean work or energy (Joules) or moment as in turning effect and torque
Thanks
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P: 12,256
 Quote by truesearch They are basically the same thing and the terms used tend to reflect context rather than physics. You would use 'Stress' when dealing with stretching etc, pressure when dealing with gases etc. Similar 'problems' occur with Newton.metres which can mean work or energy (Joules) or moment as in turning effect and torque
Nm is strictly a unit of Moment. The 'Newtons times metres' that is used to calculate Work is the Scalar Product of two Vectors (Force and Displacement) and Nm should never be used to describe Work of Energy.

Pressure and stress, however, are totally equivalent and it's only the context that determines which term you want to apply to a situation. (It's not really a "problem")