Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is F in P=F/A an average or a sum of all microscopic forces?

  1. Jan 13, 2015 #1
    Hello,
    I've read that the force F we use in the pressure formula P=F/A is an average of all microscopic forces exerted by the gas on the wall of the container over a period of time. Is it true? I thought it was a SUM rather than an average?
    I assume that in that definition the microscopic force is a force exerted by a SINGLE particle on the wall.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2015 #2

    Matterwave

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It's a sum over all the different particles, but an average over time. When the text talks about averaging, it should be talking about averaging over time to smooth out the random fluctuations of collisions with particles.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is F in P=F/A an average or a sum of all microscopic forces?
  1. P=F/A Load Cell (Replies: 6)

Loading...