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Gauge pressure at the bottom of a barrel

  1. May 4, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A barrel contains a 0.110 m layer of oil and a density of 690 kg/m3 floating on water that is 0.300 m deep. What is the pressure at the bottom of the barrel?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Poil + Pwater = Ptotal

    My question is why am I using this formula? I got the correct answer, but initially I wanted to treat the pressure of the water as a negation of the pressure of the oil, causing the barrel to float. So, Poil - Pwater. Is the reason for the addition because I am treating the bottom of the barrel as a point and the pressure acting on it in every direction equally and taking my gauge pressure from that exact point?

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2016 #2

    CWatters

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    My reading of the question is that both the oil and the water are in the barrel.
     
  4. May 4, 2016 #3
    Okay, thank you. I mis-read that. I was assuming the barrel was floating on the water. Paying attention to sentence structure is useful. ?:)
     
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