Hydrostatic pressure (infinitesimally small column of water)

In summary, the hydrostatic pressure in a column of water is calculated as depth multiplied by density, regardless of the size of the column. The resulting force on a surface may vary depending on the area, but the pressure itself remains constant at ##p = \rho g h##.
  • #1
Infinitybyzero
33
3
This is a hypothetical question: since hydrostatic pressure is calculated as depth of water times its density, would a column of water less than a square foot in cross section still have a pressure at the bottom of depth*density of water?

For example, if I had a 1" thick by 1ft wide by 5' tall tank of water, would the horizontal pressure be 300 pounds per square foot? Or 1/12 of that?
 
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  • #2
Pressure does not depend on the area upon which it applies. The force resulting from that pressure on said surface does. So, regardless of the size of your tank, the hydrostatic pressure is always going to be ##p = \rho g h##, where ##\rho## is density, ##g## is gravity, and ##h## is the depth.
 

Related to Hydrostatic pressure (infinitesimally small column of water)

1. What is hydrostatic pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure is the force per unit area exerted by a stationary column of water due to the weight of the water above it.

2. How is hydrostatic pressure calculated?

Hydrostatic pressure can be calculated using the formula P = ρgh, where P is the pressure, ρ is the density of the fluid, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and h is the height of the water column.

3. What factors affect hydrostatic pressure?

The two main factors that affect hydrostatic pressure are the height of the water column and the density of the fluid. Other factors that can affect hydrostatic pressure include temperature and salinity of the water.

4. How is hydrostatic pressure used in real-world applications?

Hydrostatic pressure is used in various applications such as measuring the depth of water in a body of water, calculating the force exerted on objects submerged in water, and in hydraulic systems for lifting and moving heavy objects.

5. What are the implications of hydrostatic pressure on living organisms?

Hydrostatic pressure can have significant effects on living organisms that live at varying depths in the ocean. As the pressure increases with depth, organisms must adapt to survive in these extreme conditions. Additionally, changes in hydrostatic pressure can affect the buoyancy and movement of marine animals.

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