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What is the difference between force and pressure?

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lisademartino | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:31 AM via web

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What is the difference between force and pressure?

Tagged with difference, force, pressure, science

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neela | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Force is the the product of mass and acceleration.  It is measured in kg meter per second square. Pressure is the normal force exerted  per unit area.  The relation between the force, F acting normal to a surface of area  A and pressure  P is given by:

P = F/A newton per square meter Or Pascal. Or

P*A = F.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:41 AM (Answer #2)

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The way I would explain it is that the two are closely related but that pressure depends on how much of an area the force is being exerted upon.

To find force, you have to know the mass of the object and its acceleration.  Once you know that, you have the force because Force = mass times acceleration.

To convert force into pressure, you have to know how much of an area the force is acting upon.  Stated mathematically, P = F/A where P is the pressure, F is the force, and A is the area.

So the identical amount of force exerts a lot of pressure on a small area or a little pressure on a large area.  This is why you wouldn't want to sit on one nail but you could lie on a bed of nails.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 20, 2010 at 2:16 AM (Answer #3)

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Force is defined as the agent which produces or tend to produce motion, or destroy or tends to destroy motion. The magnitude of force is proportional to the rate of producing or destroying motion. which in common language is described as acceleration and mass of the object.

The force may be applied or exerted at one concentrated point or it could be spread out over a finite area. When the force is spread out over a given are, the force applied per unit of area is called force. Thus relationship between force and pressure can be represented mathematically as:

Force = Pressure x Area

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ct-bio | eNoter

Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:38 AM (Answer #4)

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Pressure is force per unit area.   You consider the contact area with pressure.

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