Phenomena

Pascal’s Barrel

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Pascal’s Law tells us that pressure in a fluid depends on the height and density of the fluid. This is something that you’ve experienced firsthand if you’ve ever tried to dive in deep water. The deeper into the water you swim, the greater the pressure you feel, especially in your ears. Go deep enough and the pressure difference between your inner ear and the water becomes outright painful.

In the video demonstration above, you’ll see how a tall, thin tube containing only 1 liter of water is able to shatter a 50-liter container of water. Not only does this show just how powerful height is in creating pressure in a fluid, but it shows how a fluid can be used to transmit pressure over a distance – one of the fundamental principles of hydraulics! (Video credit: K. Visnjic et al.; submitted by Frederik B.)

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