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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

    p=F/A

    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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