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Forces and Pressure in a Hydraulic System

  1. Dec 8, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The small piston of a hydraulic lift has a diameter of 8.0 cm, and its large piston has a diameter of 40 cm. The lift raises a load of 15,000 N.

    (a) Determine the force that must be applied to the small piston.

    (b) Determine the pressure applied to the fluid in the lift.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I correctly solved for part a, and came up with an answer of 600 N. I'm a little unclear about how to obtain the answer for part b. My thought was that since pressure = F/A, I could simply take the pressure I found from part a, and divide by the area of the smaller piston, but I'm not getting the correct answer...

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2011 #2
    You're doing it correctly. Could the problem be one of units? Pressure is often stated in newtons/meter^2 (i.e., pascals). Note that 8.0 cm = 0.08 m.
  4. Dec 8, 2011 #3
    EDIT// I must have been making a calculation error. I figured it out.

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
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