Hydrostatic Pressure and Force
In this section we are going to submerge a vertical plate in water and we want to know
the force that is exerted on the plate due to the pressure of the water. This force is
often called the hydrostatic force.
There are two basic formulas that we’ll be using here. First, if we are
d
meters below
the surface then the hydrostatic pressure is given by,
where, ρ is the density of the fluid and
g
is the gravitational acceleration. We are
going to assume that the fluid in question is water and since we are going to be using
the metric system these quantities become,
The second formula that we need is the following. Assume that a constant
pressure
P
is acting on a surface with area
A
. Then the hydrostatic force that acts on
the area is,
Note that we won’t be able to find the hydrostatic force on a vertical plate using this
formula since the pressure will vary with depth and hence will not be constant as
required by this formula. We will however need this for our work.
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 Fall '08
 prellis
 Force, hydrostatic force

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