What is Pressure?

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Pressure is a critical concept in fluid dynamics – a driving force behind everything from weather patterns to lift on a wing. But where does pressure come from? Like many macroscopic forces dealt with in fluid dynamics, pressure can be traced to the effects of individual molecules within a fluid. Kinetic theory describes gases as a collection of small particles which are all in constant, random motion. These particles’ collisions with each other and with their container create a multitude of tiny forces, as in the demonstration in the video above. When all of these collisions are summed together, their net effect is expressed as pressure, a force per area. (Video credit: Sixty Symbols)

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