In a hydraulic system an initial force of 16 newtons is applied to a piston with a surface area of 2m^2 . Calculate the force on the opposite side, if its piston has a surface area of 3.2m^2  

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The operation of a hydraulic machine is based on the principle of Pascal. This principle states that the pressure exerted on a fluid is transmitted with the same magnitude in all directions.This principle is used in hydraulic presses.

If our system is formed by two pistons, then, when is exerted pressure on one of them, the other piston receives an equal pressure; so we can consider the following equality:

P1 = P2

P, is the pressure, defined as the force exerted per unit of surface, i.e.:

P = F/S

Rewriting the above equation we have:

F1/S1 = F2/S2

Then, for the force F2 we have:

F2 = (F1*S2)/S1 = (16*3.2)/2

F2 = 25.6 N

So the force on the opposite side is 25.6 N.

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