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Barometric pressure and the math behind it. Very interesting, I think.

  1. May 17, 2013 #1
    Hey guys, I was actually researching the life of Edmond Halley and discovered that he discovered the relationship between barometric pressure and the height of the sea level. I'm not quite sure what barometric pressure is( I know it has a lot to do with whether fishermen fish or not) and would like to know. Can you also show me some mathematical examples on how to find this and the mathematical relationship between these two things. Also, what is the physics behind this interesting phenomenom. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'll do my best to help, but I think you may be confused about something because what you are saying doesn't make a lot of sense.

    -Barometric pressure is just the pressure exerted by the atmosphere (and FYI, you should always start by googling simple terms): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_pressure

    -Barometric pressure doesn't have much to do with sea level except insofar as sea level is used as the zero point for measuring altitude. You can use a barometer to measure altitude since pressure varies with altitude (if you calibrate it to the day's sea level pressure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altimeter#Pressure_altimeter

    -As for fish; someone else will have to weigh-in, but I suspect it has something to do with their ability to sense and control depth. Perhaps when atmospheric pressure is higher they swim closer to the surface (because they think they are deeper than they are).
  4. May 17, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    The best fishing I ever did was on lake in a small aluminium boat right before a storm hit. You cast out and pulled a pickeral in 5 minutes.

    Also, a dropping barometric reading most times indicates that a storm or foul weather is approaching so if you are out on a large lake or out at sea, it might be best to head to port if your ship is not one that can withstand large waves.

    I will add a link with some interesting weather/ barometric pressure relationships.
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
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