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What is the atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface?

  1. Feb 21, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The density of mercury is 13595 kg/m^3. An barometer on the planet X shows a pressure reading of 1500 mm-Hg. The gravitational field strength at the surface of the planet is 12.0 m/s^2. What is the atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface?

    2. Relevant equations
    P = F/A
    D = m/V
    P = P_0 + Dhg
    P is the pressure, D is the density, m is the mass, F is the force, A is the area, V is the volume, h is the depth, and g is the gravitational constant.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    D = 13595 kg/m^3 (mercury)
    P = 1500 mm-Hg
    g = 12.0 m/s^2
    I don't know what atmospheric pressure is, really. If anyone could help, I would be very appreciated. This is important, because I don't want to fail my physics class.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2008 #2
    Well the only equation of any use to you is the last one you typed, and you found all but P_0, sooo....

    atmospheric pressure is literally, well, that. The pressure the atmosphere exerts on us. We're basically at the bottom of a gigantic ocean of air that's crushing down on top of us. Except air isn't terribly dense so it doesn't really bother us obviously, not like if you're at the bottom of an ocean with dense water
  4. Feb 21, 2008 #3
    Thus, P_0 = 0?
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