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Trouble with a basic fluid force problem

  1. Sep 19, 2015 #1
    What is the pressure on a horizontal surface with an area of 2m^2 that is 4m underwater?

    I tried to just use the formula: Force= (Density of water)(Area)(Depth)(gravity), plugging in the values Force=(1000kg/m^3)(2m^2)(4m)(9.8m/sec^2) and get 78400 N, when in reality the real answer is supposed to equal 39,200 N/m^2.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    Staff: Mentor

    I can confirm your answer. Maybe someone forgot a factor of 2?
     
  4. Sep 19, 2015 #3
    Ahhh nevermind, I have been calculating the FORCE on the plate and not the PRESSURE on the plate which is P=F/A which would explain they I have to divide the force by 2.
     
  5. Sep 20, 2015 #4

    mfb

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    Staff: Mentor

    Oh, good point. It also changes the units.
     
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