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Pressure, force, and Area: Calculating the net Force Applied on A dam by Water

  1. Jan 17, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Water stands at depth d behind a dam of width w . Find an expression for the net force of the water on the dam. Express your answer in terms of the variables w,d,p (density), and appropriate constants.

    2. Relevant equations
    P=F/A or pressure=Force/Area
    Hydrostatic pressure: p=p_0+pgd

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Fnet=P*A=(pgd)*A =pgd*w*d

    I guess that p_0 cancels out, because atmospheric pressure is felt both by the dam and the water. Does this make sense?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Careful. Is the pressure the same at every depth?

    That part makes sense.
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