1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data At sea level, the pressure of the standard terrestrial atmosphere will support a column of mercury of density 1.359 x 10^4 kg/m^3 and of height 0.7600m at a place where the acceleration due to gravity is 9.80665 m/s^2. Show that 1 atmosphere = 760 mm Hg = 1013hPa. I really just want to know what "support" means. Does it mean that at this pressure the mercury can only expand so far? So if you had a 1m long tube and you put the mercury in it it would rise 0.76m up the tube. Is it the case that the expansion of the mercury is independent of its area? If you had a receptacle of cross sectional area A and one of cross sectional area B and you put the same amount of mercury into both would they rise the same distance? Because this doesn't seem right at all.