Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the magnitudes of the forces F1, F2, and F3 required for balancing the masses shown in the figure.
There are three pictures of different kinds of pistons. In the first picture, there are four pistons: three with 500 kg masses on top, and one where F1 is pushing down. In the second, there are three pistons: two with 600 kg masses on top, and one where F2 is pushing down. In the third, there are only two pistons: one with a 600 kg mass and another with F3 pushing down.
I know that Pascal's Principle is important, that when a force is applied the pressure is distributed equally throughout the fluid. The area of the pistons are all equal, or so I think I can assume because the values aren't given.
The Attempt at a Solution
I thought that for the first picture with the 500 kg masses, F1 would just have to equal 500(9.81), right? And then that force would push up equally on the three other pistons and balance them. And then for the second two pictures it would just be 600(9.81). So F2 and F3 would both have to be the largest. I tried that though and got it wrong. Any suggestions?