A brick is 32 cm long, 10 cm wide and 10 cm thick. It weighs 16 N and is lying on the ground. Find the pressure exerted by the brick on the ground.  

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By definition, a pressure is the force acting perpendicular to the surface divided by the area on which this force is distributed.

In our case, the force is the weight of a brick and it is given (16 N). The area on which the weight is distributed is equal to...

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Hello!

By definition, a pressure is the force acting perpendicular to the surface divided by the area on which this force is distributed.

In our case, the force is the weight of a brick and it is given (16 N). The area on which the weight is distributed is equal to the length (32 cm) multiplied by the width (10 cm), so it is equal to 320 `cm^2.` So the pressure is

16/320 = 0.05 (`N/(cm^2)`).

Probably it is better to express the pressure in canonical units, Pa, which are Newton by square meter, `N/m^2.` To do this we have to express the area in square meters, and it is 0.32 m * 0.1 m = 0.032 `m^2.` So the pressure may be also expressed as

16/0.032 = 500 (Pa). This is the answer. Note that for a fixed weight it doesn't depend on a thickness of a brick.

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