1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data In a simple mechanics question, which area should be used for a stress calculation? ex. A brick is compressed on 2 sides (opposite to each other) by a given compressive force F. The area of each of the sides being compressed is A. 2. Relevant equations σ = F/A 3. The attempt at a solution I'm just confused if it should be σ = F/A OR σ = F/(2A) and why.