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A friendly science with concrete postulates, straightforward analysis, ancient history and useful applications
Hydrostatics is about the pressures exerted by a fluid at rest. Any fluid is meant, not just water. It is usually relegated to an early chapter in Fluid Mechanics texts, since its results are widely used in that study. The study yields many useful results of its own, however, such as forces on dams, buoyancy and hydraulic actuation, and is well worth studying for such practical reasons. It is an excellent example of deductive mathematical physics, one that can be understood easily and completely from a very few fundamentals, and in which the predictions agree closely with experiment. There are few better illustrations of the use of the integral calculus, as well as the principles of ordinary statics, available to the student. A great deal can be done with only elementary mathematics. Properly adapted, the material can be used from the earliest introduction of school science, giving an excellent example of a quantitative science with many possibilities for hands-on experiences. The definition of a fluid deserves careful consideration. Although time is not a factor in hydrostatics, it enters in the approach to hydrostatic equilibrium. It is usually stated that a fluid is a substance that cannot resist a shearing stress, so that pressures are normal to confining surfaces. Geology has now shown us clearly that there are substances which can resist shearing forces over short time intervals, and appear to be typical solids, but which flow like liquids over long time intervals. Such materials include wax and pitch, ice, and even rock. A ball of pitch, which can be shattered by a hammer, will spread out and flow in months. Ice, a typical solid, will flow in a period of years, as shown in glaciers, and rock will flow over hundreds of years, as in convection in the mantle of the earth. Shear earthquake waves, with periods of seconds, propagate deep in the earth, though the rock there can flow like a liquid when considered over centuries. The rate of shearing may not be strictly proportional to the stress, but exists even with low stress. Viscosity may be the physical property that varies over the largest numerical range, competing with electrical resistivity. There are several familiar topics in hydrostatics which often appear in expositions of introductory science, and which are also of historical interest that can enliven their presentation. The following will be discussed briefly here:
Pressure and its measurement Atmospheric pressure and its effects Maximum height to which water can be raised by a suction pump The siphon Discovery of atmospheric pressure and invention of the barometer Hydraulic equivalent of a lever Pumps Forces on a submerged surface The Hydrostatic Paradox Buoyancy (Archimedes' Principle) Measurement of Specific Gravity References
A study of hydrostatics can also include capillarity, the ideal gas laws, the velocity of sound, and hygrometry. These interesting applications will not be discussed in this article. At a beginning level, it may also be interesting to study the volumes and areas of certain shapes, or at a more advanced level, the forces exerted by heavy liquids on their containers. Hydrostatics is a very concrete science that avoids esoteric concepts and advanced mathematics. It is also much easier to demonstrate than Newtonian mechanics.
By a fluid, we have a material in mind like water or air, two very common and important fluids. Water is incompressible, while air is very compressible, but both are fluids. Water has a definite volume; air does not. Water and
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The presence of the gravitational body force causes the pressure to increase with depth. is a substance that cannot exert any permanent forces tangential to a boundary. and they quickly assume their permanent shapes when disturbed by rapid flows. and if no other forces are acting on the body of the fluid. kg/m3. or slug/ft3. N/cm2 (pascal). is useful in reasoning about forces in fluids. for when this equation is integrated.htm air have low viscosity. The right-hand part of the diagram illustrates the equality of pressures in orthogonal directions. The coefficient of viscosity is the ratio of the shearing force to the velocity gradient. Any force that it exerts on a boundary must be normal to the boundary. the equation can be integrated at once. or. so the pressures at any two points of a plane must be equal. Lord Kelvin) illustrated the equality of pressure by a "curtain-ring" analogy shown in the diagram. The axiom that if a certain volume of fluid were somehow made solid. Therefore. On earth.7 psi. in this case the pressure will be the same throughout the fluid. The density of water is about 1 g/cm3. approximately 981 cm/s2 or 32. measured in lb/in3. and so think of the pressure at any point in the fluid.du. Professor James Thomson (brother of William Thomson. according to the equation dp = ρg dh. Pressure is expressed in units of force per unit area such as dyne/cm2. since the fluid represented by the curtain ring was in equilibrium. which acts vertically downward. A fluid. the pressure must be the same at all neighbouring points.15 ft/s2. If the fluid is incompressible. pounds/in2 (psi) or pounds/ft2 (psf).edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. 2 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . This is simply 2117 / 62. but they are no less fluids. We may ask what depth of water gives the normal sea-level atmospheric pressure of 14. layers of them slide very easily on one another. This can be extended to any direction whatever. more correctly. Other fluids. so viscosity does not appear. therefore.4 pcf. and is called a pressure. where g is the acceleration of gravity. or lb/ft3 (pcf). may have high viscosity and take a long time to come to equilibrium. or its specific weight is 62. and the pressure as a function of depth h is p = ρgh + p0. and has a magnitude γ = ρg per unit volume. and its equilibrium was analyzed. Hydrostatics deals with permanent. that is. in order to support the water above. not just at the boundaries. expressed in g/cm3. A section of the toroid was identified. This demonstration is similar to the usual one using a triangular prism and considering the forces on the end and lateral faces separately. so Pascal's Principle is established. and the same in any direction at a point (Pascal's Principle). we find the variation of pressure with height or depth. the pressure must be the same in all directions (or the element would move in the direction of least pressure). time-independent states of fluids. the equilibrium of forces would not be disturbed. imagined to be solidified. Gravitation is an example of a body force that disturbs the equality of pressure in a fluid. Such a force is proportional to the area on which it is exerted. We call this relation the barometric equation. the mass per unit volume. as if it were a thin material membrane. or 2117 psf. except as discussed in the Introduction. such as molasses. This is the maximum height to which water can be raised by a suction pump. can be supported by atmospheric pressure. We can imagine any surface in a fluid as dividing the fluid into parts pressing on each other. ρ is the density. and γ is the specific weight.9 ft of water.4 = 33. The forces exerted on the curved surfaces have no component along the normal to a plane section. In order for any small element of the fluid to be in equilibrium.Hydrostatics http://mysite. fluids are also subject to the force of gravity.
To make a barometer. the liquid assumes a free surface perpendicular to gravity. Before reading the barometer scale. Ingenious geometric arguments can be used to substitute for easier.001201 mmHg at 20°C. The line AC' perpendicular to the plane is made equal to the depth AC of point A. by proportionality of triangles OAC' and OAD'. or 760. As a practical matter. we see that p 2 = p1 + ρgh. Atmospheric Pressure and its Effects Suppose a vertical pipe is stood in a pool of water. because the density of mercury depends on the temperature.9 ft high inside the pipe. at the center of thrust. with a vacuum above it.Hydrostatics http://mysite. a practice known as manometry. Therefore. closed at one end. The upper surface of the cylinder can be placed at the free surface if desired. and the brass scale expands. The height of the column is 2. but its line of action does not pass through the center. since the value of g changes with altitude.0 mm. the force on acting on one side of an inclined plane surface whose projection is AB can be found as in the diagram at the right. but we neglect this complication in making our point. that the buoyant force is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. and the pressures on the surfaces are also equal. We require a column of water 33. Now do the same thing with liquid mercury. to balance the atmospheric pressure.htm When gravity acts. Of course. The same result can be obtained with calculus by summing the pressures and the moments. When it has sucked all the air out above the water. In Britain. passing through its centroid normal to plane AB. it is easy to prove Archimedes's Principle. and even slightly for altitude. The pressure is now the same in any direction at a point. From this same figure. for capillarity if the tube is less than about 1 cm in diameter. so a correction from this source is negligible. the mercury reservoir is raised or lowered until the surface of the mercury just touches a reference point. Now start the pump. Indeed.74 mm at 760 mm and 20°C. and passes through the center of mass of this displaced fluid. The barometer is a familiar example of this. A straight cylinder of unit cross-sectional area (assumed only for ease in the arithmetic) can be used to find the increase of pressure with depth. Before we start the pump. and atmospheric pressures are traditionally given in terms of the length of a mercury column. and the pressure at the level of the water on the outside of the pipe is still the atmospheric pressure. Corrections must be made for temperature. Note that the thrust is equal to the density times the area times the depth of the center of the area. O is the point at which the prolonged projection intersects the free surface. but below it. the pressure on the surface of the water inside the pipe is zero. and a vacuum pump applied to the upper end.494 ft.du. is filled with mercury and then inverted and placed in a mercury reservoir. For the usual case of a mercury column (α = 0. there is the vapour pressure of the water to worry about if you want to be precise. 30 inHg (inches of mercury) had been used previously. of course. which is mirrored in the surface so it is easy to determine the proper 3 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . but is greater at points that lie deeper. This definition of the standard atmospheric pressure was established by Regnault in the mid-19th century. the barometric tube. the water levels outside and inside the pipe are equal. which can be proved by Thomson's method.000181792 per °C) and a brass scale (α = 0. whose density at 0 °C is 13. but less transparent arguments using calculus.5951 times that of water. 29. For example. the thrust F on the plane is the weight of a prism of fluid of cross-section AC'D'B. and line BD' is similarly drawn equal to BD. it is convenient to measure pressure differences by measuring the height of liquid columns. and equal to the atmospheric pressure.0000184 per °C) the temperature correction is -2. The vapor pressure of mercury is only 0.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. The line OD' also passes through C'.92 in.
but the water remains with no visible means of support. fluid flows from the basin with the higher level into the one with the lower level. An aneroid barometer is much easier to use in field observations. it would be read at the start of the day at the base camp. This movement is communicated to a needle that revolves in a dial. The height differences can be calculated from h = 60. Fill the jar with water and invert it under the water in the basin. and should be obvious. Water with a pressure head of 10 ft can furnish the same energy as an equal amount of water raised by 10 ft.Hydrostatics http://mysite. or 4. When a siphon goes below the free water levels. An aneroid barometer uses a partially evacuated chamber of thin metal that expands and contracts according to the external pressure. and is usually arranged to read directly in elevations. at least to pass over their rims. If the levels in the two basins are not equal.du. The materials and construction are arranged to give a low temperature coefficient. Differences in elevation are usually too great to use regular siphons to cross hills. In the diagram. to determine the change in pressure with time. Take a jar and a basin of water. Now raise the jar as far as you can without allowing its mouth to come above the water surface. When a vacuum is stated to be so many inches. In a particular case. about 34 feet. includes pumped siphons." and the factor connecting the head and the pressure is the weight density ρg. while a gauge pressure is referred to the atmospheric pressure at the moment. A siphon can be made by filling the tube. This is a tube filled with fluid connecting two containers of fluid. the tube can be placed in one fluid and filled by sucking on it. so the fluids must be pressurized by pumps so the pressure does not fall to zero at the crests. weight density is in pounds per cubic inch or cubic foot. When it is full. at various points in the vicinity. In fact. it is called an inverted siphon. It is good to remind oneself of exactly the balance of forces involved. so there will be no flow. Alternatively. Inverted siphons (which are really not siphons at all) are sometimes used in pipelines to cross valleys. A head of 10 ft is equivalent to a pressure of 624 psf. The instrument must be calibrated before use. The pressure rises or falls as described by the barometric equation through the siphon tube. normally rising higher than the water levels in the two containers.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. or for supplying hummingbird feeders. The Quabbin Aqueduct. the other end is put in place. The name is Greek for the tube that was used for drawing wine from a cask. It is always a little surprising to see that the jar does not empty itself. this is a famous method of collecting insoluble gases in the chemical laboratory. and then finally at the starting point. 4 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . By blowing through a straw.htm position. In the English engineer's system. it is usually called "head.64)/986) feet. and then putting the ends under the surface on both sides. the two water levels are the same. such as in reconnaisance surveys. There is obviously a maximum height for the siphon which is the same as the limit of the suction pump. and as much water leaves as air enters. Another application of pressure is the siphon. An absolute pressure is referred to a vacuum. A vacuum of 25 inches is the same thing as an absolute pressure of 5 inches (of mercury). one can put air into the jar. The analysis of the siphon is easy. closing the ends.360 log(P/p) [1 + (T + t . which supplies water to Boston. If it is the same fluid whose pressure is being given. A negative gauge pressure is a (partial) vacuum. until the levels are equal. t are in °F. Pressures are very frequently stated in terms of the height of a fluid.33 psi. It can also be considered an energy availability of ft-lb per lb. and T. Water flowing in a pipe is subject to head loss because of friction. this means the pressure below the atmospheric pressure of about 30 in. where P and p are in the same units.
Pascal had a barometer carried up the 1465 m high Puy de Dôme. in England. The siphon tube used in irrigation. Torricelli's early death was a blow to science.htm As the level in the supply container falls. and then the vacuum causes the water to descend again when the heat is removed (invented by Löff in 1830). not by horror vacui as Aristotle had supposed. The Puy de Dôme is not the highest peak in the Massif Central--the Puy de Sancy. Saxony. a siphon is simply a tubular structure. Mariotte's Bottle. The plug must seal the air space at the top very well. or the discharge from an orifice.Hydrostatics http://mysite. Clermont is now the centre of the French pneumatics industry. Siphons work because of atmospheric pressure. Famously. In some cases. see link below). would simply separate leaving a Torricellian vacuum. A liquid column is unstable under a negative pressure. He also showed that air had weight. maintained at atmospheric while water is delivered. Mercury. by 5 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . which has a very low vapor pressure. especially when it may allow dirty water to mix with clean. vacuum breakers may be used at high points to prevent this. and is well worth consideration. and how much force it did require to separate evacuated hemispheres. This would make a good experiment to verify the relation V = √(2gh) since h and the horizontal distance reached by the jet for a given fall can both be measured easily. This was one of the first victories for rational physics over the illusions of experience. while siphon coffee (or vacuum coffee) is made in an apparatus where the steam from boiling water pushes hot water up above the coffee and filter. In these cases. The mercury column was held up by the pressure of the atmosphere. Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647). invented the mercury barometer in 1643. A thermal siphon is a means to circulate a liquid by convection. not by horror vacui. but his ideas were furthered by Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). therefore. The remarkable Otto von Guericke (1602-1686). could not pull them apart. Christian Huygens (1629-1695) became interested in a visit to London in 1661 and had a vacuum pump built for him. In biology. Pascal demonstrated that the siphon worked by atmospheric pressure. one would like a source that would provide a constant pressure at the outlet of the siphon.du. and would not operate in a vacuum. a member of the Florentine Academy of Experiments. In the case of water. an extinct volcano in the Auvergne just west of his home of Clermont-Ferrand in 1648 by Périer. and brought the weight of the atmosphere to light. siphon action is not desired. especially in plumbing. and showed that 16 horses. Robert Hooke (1635-1703) made a vacuum pump for Robert Boyle (1627-1691). By this time. Galileo's student and secretary. The siphon would be re-established if the pressure is restored. but it was the closest. None of these arrangments is actually a siphon in the physicist's sense. Torricelli's doctrine had triumphed over the Church's support for horror vacui. pressure reduction would eventually reach the vapor pressure and the water would boil. 8 on each side. do use the siphon principle. An ingenious way to arrive at this is shown in the figure. The term "siphon" is often used in a different sense. and perhaps Thomson's siphon recorder of 1858. Then. Burgomeister of Magdeburg. making the first vacuum pump. A soda siphon is a source of carbonated water. An original vacuum pump and hemispheres from 1663 are shown at the right (photo edited from the Deutsches Museum. took up the cause.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. The head available at the nozzle as shown is equal to h. which he used in vivid demonstrations of the pressure of the atmosphere to the Imperial Diet at Regensburg in 1654. Pascal's experimentum crucis is one of the triumphs of early modern science. his brother-in-law. the pressure difference decreases. The occasional spelling "syphon" is not supported by the Greek source. In some cases. at 1866 m is. A partial vacuum is created in the air space by the fall of the water level exactly equal to the pressure difference between the surface and the end of the open tube connecting to the atmosphere. The pressure at this point is. he evacuated a sphere consisting of two well-fitting hemispheres about a foot in diameter.
000 dyne/cm 2. and then at some higher level the atmosphere warms again to near its value at the surface. the pressure decreases exponentially. it has been considered approximately 1 atm. The fluid in question here is air. since pressures must be measured at a common level to be meaningful.du.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. A cubic centimetre of air weighs 1. we can make use of the ideal gas equation of state. with the upper branch open to the atmosphere. 29. The barometric pressure may be given in popular weather forecasts. which is 1. This is a little harder to integrate than before. the millibar. or ln(p/p0) = -Mgh/RT. so air is by no means even approximately weightless. A bar is 106 dyne/cm2. which are contours of constant pressure. Certain typical weather patterns are associated with relatively high and relatively low pressures. The ton in this case is 2240 lb. This quantity gives the rough scale of the decrease of pressure with height. As we rise in the atmosphere and the pressure decreases. such as the permanent winter highs above high plateaus that are really imaginary. along the isobars. When the temperature profile with height is known. As the large container is filled with water. In meteorolgy. is used. The barometric pressures quoted in the news are reduced to sea level by standard formulas.htm means of the apparatus shown at the left. and how they vary with time. The Hydraulic Lever 6 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . 1 psi = 51.5 psi (about an atmosphere!). as in tire pressures and other engineering applications. and is about 8 km at T = 273K. 1 mb = 1. the beakers are connected by a mercury column. The two beakers of mercury are connected by a three-way tube as shown. and the siphon starts. the stratosphere.293 mg under standard conditions. 1 tsf = 15. since it determines the winds. In Britain. but the result is ln p = -Mgh/RT + C. and Pascal also has been honoured by a unit of pressure. tons per square inch has been used for large pressures.Hydrostatics http://mysite. also close to one atmosphere. Above this is a region of nearly constant temperature.5°C/km up to an altitude of about 11 km at middle latitudes. p = ρRT/M. the air also expands. The atmospheric pressure is of great importance in meteorology. mb.01325 bar. and this figure can be used to find other approximate equivalents. and a cubic metre 1. very close to a standard atmosphere. or dp/p = -(Mg/RT)dh. though it seems so. At an elevation of 1500 m (near Denver.7 mmHg.293 kg. not the American short ton.68 g. and assume that the temperature T is constant. but we do not notice it. If you live at a high altitude. Then the change of pressure in a change of altitude dh is dp = -ρg dh = -(pM/RT)gdh. and water boils at 95 °C.333 mmHg = 100 Pa = 1000 dyne/cm2. Of course. To see what happens in this case. though few people know what to do with it. The mm of mercury is sometimes called a torr after Torricelli. or the top of the Puy de Dôme). so if there were any horror vacui. but if you have a real barometer. it could have flowed in at will to soothe itself. we can find the pressure by numerical integration quite easily. that is. a newton per square metre or 10 dyne/cm2. In Europe. like being 34 ft under water. that amount to assuming that there is a column of air from your feet to sea level with a certain temperature distribution. The quantity H = RT/Mg is called the "height of the homogeneous atmosphere" or the scale height. which generally move at right angles to the direction of most rapid change of pressure. and adding the weight of this column to the actual barometric pressure. your local weather reporter may report the pressure to be. easily measurable with a chemical balance. Of course. called the tropopause. the real atmosphere is by no means isothermal close to the ground. The mercury has been open to the atmosphere all this time. The weight of a sphere of air as small as 10 cm in diameter is 0. but cools with height nearly linearly at about 6.7 psi. When the state shown is reached.2 inches. As we have seen. say. A kilogram-force per square centimeter is 981. The pressure of the atmosphere is also considerable. you may well find that it is closer to 25 inches. or finally p = p 0exp(-Mgh/RT). which is by no means incompressible. emptying the upper beaker and filling the lower. there are variations from the average values. 1 tsi = 2240 psi. altitude is quite a problem in meteorology. the atmospheric pressure is about 635 mm. In an isothermal atmosphere. For example. In fact. in English units the atmosphere is about 14. pressure on the free surfaces of the mercury in the beakers pushes mercury into the tubes. This is only an arbitrary 'fix' and leads to some strange conclusions.
and pumps depending on dynamic forces. If the movement is slow enough that inertia and viscosity forces are negligible. the same as the ratio of the areas. and the ratios of the displacements dx' / dx = F / F' = A / A' is in the inverse ratio of the areas. or the net work done in the process is p' dV' + p dV = -dM gh. it was not very remarkable to see the possibility of a hydraulic press. The work done by the fluid in this displacement is dW = F dx = pA dx = p dV. such as centrifugal pumps. who also invented many other useful machines. Then the pressure is the same. p. Here we will only consider positive displacement pumps. to produce 7 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . and they are usually the most trouble-prone and complicated part of a pump. p' = p + ρgh. The force pump. We have already seen an important example of this in the hydraulic lever or hydraulic press. The supply valve opens when the cylinder volume increases.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. The delivery in this case is from the upper part of the cylinder which the piston does not enter. or "suction. as in the case of a diesel engine injector. one for supply and the other for delivery. invented in 1785 by Joseph Bramah (1748-1814). but are excellent examples of hydrostatics.Hydrostatics http://mysite. and a valve in the piston that allows the liquid to pass around it when the volume of the cylinder is reduced. There are many kinds of valves. Now. and either cylinder must be within this height of the free surface. They have a piston (or equivalent) moving in a closely-fitting cylinder. A process for which this is true is called quasi-static. The diaphragm may be moved mechanically. a mechanism for transforming pressure to force. what was remarkable was to find a way to seal the large cylinder properly. Some positive displacement pumps are shown at the right. the delivery valve when the cylinder volume decreases. which can be understood purely by hydrostatic considerations.du. can give an arbitrarily large pressure to the discharged fluid. This mechanism is the hydrostatic analogue of the lever. They are not only very useful.htm A cylinder and piston is a chamber of variable volume. The simplest pump is the syringe. Again.(ρ dV)gh. connected with each other and filled with fluid. then F = pA is the force on the piston. possibly of different areas A and A'. while the lift pump has a one valve in the cylinder and one in the piston. however. then hydrostatics will still be valid. These are usually check valves that open to allow passage in one direction. The force pump has two check valves in the cylinder. then the change in volume is dV = A dx. If the piston moves outwards a distance dx. p' dV' = -dV (p + ρgh) =-p dV . Pumps are seen to fall within the province of hydrostatics if their operation is quasi-static. where dM is the mass of fluid displaced from the lower cylinder to the upper cylinder. and forces are exerted on the fluid by motion of the piston. then dV + dV' = 0. and is the basis of hydraulic activation. Now consider two cylinders. A nozzle can be used to convert the pressure to velocity. For simplicity. which means that dynamic or inertia forces are negligible. including a lock and a toilet. Pumps Pumps are used to move or raise fluids. in both cylinders. The most famous application of this principle is the Bramah hydraulic press. and close automatically to prevent reverse flow. so that dW = p dV + p dV' = F dx + F' dx' = 0. or by the pressure of the fluid on one side of the diaphragm. In the presence of gravity. energy is conserved if we take into account the potential energy of the fluid. The ratio of the forces on the pistons is F' / F = A' / A. This was the crucial problem that Bramah solved by his leather seal that was held against the cylinder and the piston by the hydraulic pressure itself. hydrostatic or positive displacement pumps. as its port is immersed in the fluid or removed from it. Pumps are of two general types. More complicated pumps have valves allowing them to work repetitively." is determined by the atmospheric pressure. which we have called quasi-static. The force and lift pumps are typically used for water. and p the pressure of the fluid in it. If the fluid is incompressible. The force pump has two valves in the cylinder. suppose that there are no gravitational forces. Diaphragm pumps are force pumps in which the oscillating diaphragm takes the place of the piston. This says the work done on one piston is equal to the work done by the other piston: the conservation of energy. where h is the difference in elevation of the two cylinders. The lift pump has a supply valve. filled by withdrawing the piston and emptied by pressing it back in. Now. The maximum lift. If A is the area of the cylinder.
jsut exhaust valves V. The Roots blower can either exhaust a receiver or provide air under moderate pressure. piston A is descending. The three pumps on the right are typically used for air. with the pistons somewhat miscalled buckets.du. called the receiver. requiring no accurate machining. The cooperation of the cylinders made the pump much easier to work when the pressure was low.htm a jet. the piston lifted the column of water above it. but would be equally applicable to liquids. When it rose. water entered the pump chamber through a clack. so it could probably reach about 1 mmHg. Diaphragm and vane pumps are not shown. In this case. It has no valves on the low-pressure side. In the diagram. A plunger displaced volume in a chamber. The bell-jar receiver. The bellows is a very old device. allowing it to sink through the water to the bottom. the engine at the surface lifted the heavy pump rods on the up-stroke. their place taken by the sliding contact between the rotors and the housing. At the same time. in large volumes. has a flexible seal that seals when the cylinder is moved to compress the air. but they act the same way by varying the volume of a chamber. invented by Huygens. it was not necessary that it fit the cylinder accurately. previously. Only the top of the plunger had to be packed. or 28 ft more practically. which could be of any length. Tate's air pump is a 19th century pump that would be used for simple vacuum demonstrations and for utility purposes in the lab. borne down by their weight. but this occurred at the bottom of the shaft. which we recognize as lift pumps. On the down stroke. Another valve can be placed at the nozzle if required. The air space in the receiver helped to make the water pressure uniform. Pumps were applied to the dewatering of mines. V'. of course. Hawksbee's dual cylinder pump. the heavy timber pump rods did the actual pumping. is the final form of the air pump invented by Guericke by 1654. The piston could only "suck" water 33 ft.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. when a clack in the bottom of the pipe opened and allowed water to enter beneath the piston. is shown. The valve can be a piece of soft leather held close to holes in the chamber. as for fire fighting. When the atmospheric engine piston returned. The bicycle pump uses the valve on the valve stem of the tire or inner tube to hold pressure in the tire. forcing the water in it through a check valve up the shaft. when it descended. a clack in the bucket opened. but the Dudley Castle engine of 1712 is much better known and thoroughly documented. as in the bucket pump. while piston B is rising. A good pump could probably reach about 5-10 mmHg. so this was only a limit on the piston stroke.Hydrostatics http://mysite. designed in the 18th century. The Roots blower has no valves. where it would be ready to make another lift. filling with the low-pressure air from the receiver. but allows air to pass when the movement is reversed. a very necessary process as mines became deeper. It is operated by 8 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . which is attached to the discharge tube. the limit set by the valves. The first pumps used in Cornwall were called bucket pumps. The first engine may have been erected in Cornwall in 1710. Newcomen's atmospheric engine was invented to supply the power for pumping. The single valve is in one or both sides of the expandable chamber. Fire fighting force pumps usually had two cylinders feeding one receiver alternately. helped by the partial vacuum remaining below it. They pumped on the up-stroke. and directing the flow with check valves. A special application for pumps is to produce a vacuum by exhausting a container. also placed at the bottom of the shaft. a cumbersome globe was the usual receiver. More satisfactory were the plunger pumps. The piston.
also built by von Reichenbach was found. The salt industry of Bad Reichenhall still operates. commissioned von Reichenbach to bring brine from Berchtesgaden. four-barrel pump. with four cylinders and driven by a water wheel. At the present day. Small amounts of gas are trapped at the top of the fall tube as the mercury drops. Von Reichenbach is said to have built this pipeline. which was centred on the town of Reichenhall." This famous salt region had salt springs flowing nearly saturated brine. but of course is not a heat engine and can be of high efficiency. elevation 470 m. Maximilian I.du.htm pushing and pulling the handle H. A brine pipeline to Traunstein was constructed in 1617-1619. famous for high pressure steam engines. coming out at the bottom carrying the air with it. it is not of as high efficiency as a turbine. Langmuir's mercury diffusion pump. This engine was exhibited in the Deutsches Museum in München as late as 1977. near Salzburg. elevation 530 m. so both valves must not close at the same time. for which he designed a water-wheel-driven. Theoretically. and was Salinenrat. and is much more complicated.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. This was a much easier way to mine salt than underground mining. This machine. and moves slowly down the fall tube as mercury is steadily added. Later. since wood fuel for evaporating the brine was exhausted in Reichenhall. King of Bavaria. and they died within days of each other in 1826. and the brine was then pumped to the surface. or manager of the state salt works. with the valves replaced by drops of mercury. It looks like a steam engine. entering service in 1816. At the right is Sprengel's pump. a Solehebemaschine ("brine-lifting machine"). but has the advantage that it can be operated at variable speeds. over a summit 943 m high. used to turn a large head (pressure) of water into rotary motion. He was of an aristocratic family. also built hydrostatic engines in Cornwall. motor-driven rotary-seal pumps sealed by running in oil are used for the same purpose. that from ancient times had been evaporated over wood fires. Georg von Reichenbach (1771-1826) is much better known as an optical designer than as a mechanical engineer. The column of water or hydrostatic engine is the inverse of the force pump. now Bad Reichenhall. The length of the fall tube must be greater than the barometric height. and led to oil diffusion pumps that can reach very high vacua. a vacuum of about 1 μm can be obtained with a Sprengel pump. Air chambers can be used to eliminate shocks. but it is very slow and can only evacuate small volumes. but they were never popular and remained rare. replaced Sprengel pumps. where there was turf as well as wood. and abrupt changes of rate of flow must not be made. The name derives from "rich in salt. Fresh water was also allowed to flow down to the salt beds. A search of the museum website did not reveal any evidence of it. in southeastern Bavaria. entered service in 1821. at 24% to 26% (saturated is 27%) salt. It was used to pump brine for the Bavarian state salt industry. Water pressure engines must be designed taking into account the incompressibility of water. but a good drawing of another brine pump. with valves operated by valve gear. It had two pressure-operated poppet valves for each cylinder. which was much faster. These engines are brass to resist corrosion by the salt water. and placed in service in 1917. The pump shown in the photograph pumped brine over this line. However. Forces on Submerged Surfaces 9 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . but it is now Japanese-owned. in 1818-10. of course. The pipeline was further extended to Rosenheim. A few very impressive column of water engines were made in the 19th century. He was associated with Joseph Fraunhofer. The photograph at the right shows a column-of-water engine built by Georg von Reichenbach. as for lifting. to Reichenhall.Hydrostatics http://mysite. Richard Trevithick.
the acceleration can be added to the acceleration of gravity. assuming gravity to act. Consider three tanks with bottoms of equal sizes and equal heights. one has sides inclined inward. or the tank would scoot off. may often be easy to solve. or two-thirds of the way from the top to the bottom of the gate. In this case. The tanks do not contain the same weight of water. and the pressure on the surface of the water zero. and passing through the centroid of this water. and the depth at which it acts. M = ρgw[(h + H)3 . Simple surfaces. The force on a small area dA a distance x below the surface of the water is dF = p dA = ρgx dA.h2]/2 = ρgH(H + 2h)/2 = ρg(h + H/2)Hw. Consider a curious rectangular tank. The horizontal forces exerted by the water on the two sides must be equal and opposite. the Coriolis force must also be taken into account. The earth's atmosphere is an example. In the simple case of h = 0. these are dynamic effects and are not strictly a part of hydrostatics. In both cases. and the pressure is proportional to the distance from this surface. filled with water. c = M / F. and only in simple cases can this be done analytically. there is no change to this result. but also the dry side of the gate. If the side is inclined inwards. then the forces due to this pressure can be evaluated separately and added to this result. In general. the position of the total force in the transverse direction can be obtained from the integral of dM' = ρgxy dA. the moment about some vertical line in the plane of the surface. If there happens to be a pressure on the free surface of the water. so the vertical force on the bottom of each tank is the same. By integration.htm Suppose we want to know the force exerted on a vertical surface of any shape with water on one side. the result is demanded by ordinary statics. whose top is a distance H below the surface of the water. The pressures at the bottoms are equal. where the centrifugal acceleration is the important quantity. and height h. The simplest case is a rectangular gate of width w. with one side vertical but the opposite side inclined inwards or outwards. it is necessary to sum the forces and moments numerically on each element of area. there must be an upwards vertical force equal to the weight of the 'missing' water above it. This is the reason atmospheric pressure often seems to have been neglected in solving subh problems. since the horizontal and vertical forces are not necessarily in the same plane.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. and the moment of this force about a point on the surface is dM = px dA = ρgx2 dA. However. such as cylinders. The same can be done for a rotating fluid. so that c = (H2/3 + Hh + h2)/(h + H/2). and third sides inclined outwards. A free surface now becomes perpendicular to the total acceleration. and F = ρgw[(h + H)2 . If a volume of fluid is accelerated uniformly. we can find the total force F. which is easier but not as illuminating. If we take the atmospheric pressure to act not only on the surface of the water. The total force on the gate is equal to its area times the pressure at its centre. however.h3]/3 = ρg(H2/3 + Hh + h2)Hw. We have already solved this problem by a geometrical argument. the integrations are very easy. then there must be a downwards vertical force equal to the weight of the water above it. What we have here has been called the 'hydrostatic paradox. spheres and cones. The vertical and horizontal components can be found by considering the equilibrium of volumes with a plane surface equal to the projected area of the curved surface in that direction.Hydrostatics http://mysite. Sometimes the forces are required on curved surfaces.du. the first modern scientist to investigate the statics of fluids and solids. If the surface is not symmetrical. But suppose that one tank has vertical sides. When air moves relative to the rotating system. and a moment e qual to the product of this force and the distance to the centroid of the surface. We must add a force equal to the area of the surface times the additional pressure. but now we apply calculus. c = 2H/3.' It was conceived by the celebrated Flemish engineer Simon Stevin (1548-1620) of Brugge. yet the forces on their bottoms are equal! I am sure that you can spot the resolution of this paradox. The general result is usually a force plus a couple. If the side is inclined outwards. 10 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM .
Well. To see how buoyancy works.du. so the legend runs. of course. and Archimedes cunningly measured its volume by the amount of water that ran off when it was immersed in a vessel filled to the brim. it was found that the crown displaced more water than an equal weight of gold. typical of the charming way science was made more interesting in classical times. This looks bad for the boat. or the application of Professor Thomson's analogy. Specific gravity. If the ship heels by an angle Δθ. so that V remains constant. The forces on the sides have no vertical components. of the body. The centre of buoyancy is then moved to the right to point B. therefore. This avoids the difficult determination of the exact volume of the sample. The net upward force is the weight of a volume V of the fluid of density ρ. Let Bo be the centre of buoyancy with the ship upright. that is. A substitution could not be detected by simply weighing the crown. the weight per unit volume. but whether it did or not. Therefore. had substituted cheaper metals for gold. the weight of the ship. and the buoyant force tends to correct the rotation. We can find the x-coordinate of B by taking moments of the volumes about the y-axis. would give the answer. Should the board start to rotate to one side. a board floats. where V is the volume of the brick. a wedge-shaped volume of water is added on the right. of height h. that is.Hydrostatics http://mysite. called the metacentre. the displaced volume immediately moves to that side. while the force exerted by gravity on the boat acts through its own centre of gravity G. since the boat's c. V (BoB) = V(0) + moment of the shaded volume . consider a submerged brick.g. and then in water. The specific gravity is the weight in air divided by the loss in weight when immersed. This story. with a large rock in the boat. or centre of buoyancy. may or may not actually have taken place. was asked to determine if the goldsmith who made a golden crown for Hieron.moment of the equal compensating volume. He throws the rock into the water. By comparing the results for the crown. The difference in pressure on top and bottom of the brick is ρgh. will naturally be higher than the c. It is not as easy to make boats as it might appear. so they do not matter. so the boat will tend to capsize. been adulterated. called Archimedes' Principle. can be determined by weighing the body in air. Archimedes realized that finding the density of the crown.g. γV = W. so the difference in total force on top and bottom of the brick is simply (ρgh)(wl) = ρgV. so the result applies in general. The story is told by Vitruvius. width w and length l. and an equal volume is removed on the left. Tyrant of Syracuse.g. This is just the integral calculus in action. Consider a man in a rowboat on a lake.htm Buoyancy Archimedes. and had. The weight was known.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. and for pure gold. the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of water. so that there is a restoring couple when the boat heels. of the displaced water. as small as desired. If dA is an 11 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . it is the centre of gravity of the volume V of the displaced water. since it was craftily made to the same weight as the gold supplied for its construction. Archimedes taught that a body immersed in a fluid lost apparent weight equal to the weight of the fluid displaced. A floating body will be stable provided the line of action of the buoyant force passes through a point M above the c. A ship with an improperly designed hull will not float. Any body can be considered made up of brick shapes. and can tell us why. What happens to the water level in the glass when the ice has melted? The force exerted by the water on the bottom of a boat acts through the centre of gravity B of the displaced volume. or heel. What is the effect on the water level of the lake? Suppose you make a drink of ice water with ice cubes floating in it.
while a cargo ship may have a period of 13-15s. since hydrogen is exceedingly flammable and explosive over a wide range of concentrations. (BoB)/Δθ = (MBo). easily seen in binoculars. The information was returned by radio telemetry. I. A 10g ceiling balloon was about 17" in diameter when inflated to have a free lift of 40g. had metacentric height of only 3 feet for stability. with a density 0. For example. which was easier to obtain and did not diffuse through the envelope quite as rapidly.du. This balloon was about 6 ft in diameter when inflated at the surface.htm element of area in the y=0 plane. Therefore. a broadside ironclad launched in 1870. since the center of buoyancy is above the center of gravity in all practical balloons. such as weather balloons. which is desirable for passenger ships and for gun platforms (warships). helium is exceedingly rare.55 that of air. Balloons are naturally stable. but it also diffuses rapidly. if the hull has taken water. and then with balloons filled with coal gas. A list. like most large ones. Longitudinal baffles reduce the effect (division into thirds reduces the effect by a factor of 9). However. imprudent shifting of ballast water caused MV Cougar Ace. with hydrogen filling. A ship with a large GM and a short roll period is called stiff. up to 2500ft. and 360ft per minute afterwards. (MG) = (I/V) . from the reaction of granulated 12 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . then the volume element is xΔθdA (this automatically makes the volume to the left of x=0 negative). the ship tends to roll with a certain period. to find cloud ceilings by timing. Longitudinal stability against pitching is analyzed similarly. The ship was eventually righted. Slack balloons. Now. The Montgolfier brothers' hot air balloon with a paper envelope ascended first in 1783 (the brothers got Pilâtre de Rozier and Chevalier d'Arlandes to go up in it). as they should be.(BoG). since it made a stable gun platform and presented a minimum area that had to be armoured. A ship with a small GM is said to be tender. Methane would be a good filler. when the ship heels this weight moves to the low side and counters the buoyancy that should give the ship stability. ∫x2dA is just the moment of inertia of the water-level area of the ship. with its cargo of Mazdas. when it subtended about 2' of arc. At night. Weather balloons had to be launched promptly after filling. Note that contributions from x>0 and x<0 are both positive. and so a long roll period. A passenger ship may have a roll period of 28s or so. is a permanent heel. The free surface effect can greatly reduce the stability of a ship. since for small Δθ the tangent is equal to the angle. since it did not take water. but proved unsafe for Atlantic service. 3 ft in diameter before inflation. The combination of a small GM and a small freeboard was originally considered desirable for a warship. The balloon was inflated to give 800g free lift. with their own characteristic problems. to list 80°. Great care must be taken when filling balloons with hydrogen to avoid sparks and the accumulation of hydrogen in air. and are absolutely necessary for ships like tankers. and will plump up at altitude. The greatest problem with using hydrogen for lift is that it diffuses rapidly through many substances. In 2006. and the balloon 350g. however.000 ft (15 km) before it burst. Slack balloons will not be filled full on the ground. Metacentric heights are typically 1 to 2 metres. The hydrogen for filling weather balloons came from compressed gas in cylinders. Large sounding balloons were used to lift a radiosonde and a parachute for its recovery. Now. incidentally. The lift obtained with helium is almost the same as with hydrogen (density 4 compared to 2. The ship capsized off Finisterre in 1870 in a gale when the topsails were not taken in promptly enough and the ship heeled beyond its 14° maximum. was such a ship. so it would rise 700-800 ft/min to an altitude of about 50. The moment tending to restore the ship to upright is W times the righting arm GZ = MG x Δθ. It ascended 480ft the first minute. and the moment is this times x. an early turret ironclad launced in 1869. the paper parachute 100g. Helium has the great advantage that it is not inflammable.97).edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. V(BoB) = IΔθ. Small neoprene or natural rubber balloons have been used for meteorological observations. HMS Captain. Archimedes's Principle can also be applied to balloons. or the desired free lift would not be obtained. Of intermediate size was the pilot balloon. A small GM means a small restoring torque. Submarines are yet another application of buoyancy. An AN/AMT-2 radiosonde of the 1950's weighed 1500g. HMS Sultan. Helium is a little better in this respect. can be contrasted with taut balloons with an elastic envelope. Finally. Therefore.Hydrostatics http://mysite. and only its unusual occurrence in natural gas from Kansas makes it available. 670ft in a minute and a half. where air is 28. a pilot balloon could carry a light for ceiling determinations. Such "fire balloons" were then replaced with hydrogen-filled balloons. which was followed with a theodolite to determine wind directions and speeds. then. so the balloon did not have to be followed optically.
it is clear that this difference is of no practical importance. The weight of the powder and the weight of the displaced water can be determined. The denominator is just the buoyant force. Mercury. The actual volume of 1. so liquid storage is out of the question for general use. the graduations ("degrees") are arbitrary and reference is made to a table to determine the specific gravities. This method was once used in Scotland to determine the amount of alcohol in distilled liquors. perhaps in lb/cuft or pcf. Strictly speaking.999973 cm 3 by measurement. which makes the specific gravity numerically equal to the density. which consists of a weighted float and a calibrated stem that protrudes from the liquid when the float is entirely immersed. is numerically different from the specific gravity. but special balances. A pycnometer is a flask with a close-fitting ground glass stopper with a fine hole through it. the specific gravity of the liquid can easily be calculated. In English units. and in the second. a 600-gallon hydrogen tank would be required." If the flask is weighed empty. density. In the first. while we are at it.000 Btu/lb is available from hydrogen. The specific gravity of a liquid can be found with a collection of small weighted. and full of a liquid whose specific gravity is desired. In the metric system. and often with the appearance of carbon. The temperature dependence of the density may have to be taken into consideration in accurate work. The density of water at 0°C is 0.5 lb/cuft. so a given volume can be accurately obtained. Both are rather expensive sources of hydrogen. In most cases. in casual speech the two are often confounded. A better instrument is the hydrometer. Adding an extra weight to the sample allows measurement of specific gravities less than 1. and from them the specific gravity of the powder. A sample in the form of a powder. and the ml can be taken equal to the cc. and the concentration of antifreeze 13 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . but very convenient when only small amounts are required.0 g of water at 4°C. the spheres that float are an indication of the temperature of the liquid. The basic idea in finding specific gravity is to weigh a sample in air. or the reaction of hot coke with steam. Then the specific gravity is W/(W . or from the reaction of calcium hydroxide with water. since the weight of water is 62. and also by the confusion that gave us the distinction between cc and ml. Measurement of Specific Gravity The specific gravity of a material is the ratio of the mass (or weight) of a certain sample of it to the mass (or weight) of an equal volume of water. The closest spheres that will just float and just sink put limits on the specific gravity of the liquid. the weight of a volume of water equal to the volume of the sample.000 Btu/lb from gasoline. Of course.99987 g/ml. while specific gravity is a dimensionless ratio. The small cross-sectional area of the stem makes the instrument very sensitive. if W is the weight in air. A higher specific gravity will result in a greater length of the stem above the surface. to which the usual method of weighing cannot be used. and all the hydrogen must be made with an input of energy usually greater than that available from the hydrogen. a word meaning "density. The milliliter is the volume of 1.95838. compared to 20. since more energy is used than is recovered with the hydrogen. Galileo's thermometer worked this way. at 20° 0. and then immersed in water. hydrogen compressed to 1000 psi requires 140 times as much volume for the same weight as gasoline. and W' the weight immersed. the conventional reference material. Since the density of a liquid decreases as the temperature increases. Any enthusiasm for a "hydrogen economy" should be tempered by the fact that there are no hydrogen wells. silicon or zinc could be used instead of aluminium. The chemical reactions are 2Al + 2NaOH + 2H2O → 2NaAlO2 + 3H2. or needed. The critical temperature of hydrogen is 32K. and at 100°C 0.99823. by definition.5461 at 20°C. to more than three significant figures.0 g of water at 4°C is 0. Hydrometers are used to determine the specific gravity of lead-acid battery electrolyte. however. The name comes from the Greek puknos. However. This can be carried out with an ordinary balance. Electrolysis of water is an expensive source. Things are complicated by the variation of the density of water with temperature. or CaH2 + 2H2O → Ca(OH) 2 + 2H2. For the energy content of a 13-gallon gasoline tank.Hydrostatics http://mysite. has a density 13.5955 at 0°C. the density of water is 1 g/cc. such as the Jolly balance.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. hollow spheres that will just float in certain specific gravities.htm aluminium with sodium hydroxide and water. Since most densities are not known. Most hydrogen is made from the catalytic decomposition of hydrocarbons.du. and 13. while a lower specific gravity will cause the hydrometer to float lower. it must be calibrated against standards. full of water.W'). can be put into the pycnometer. any similar metal hydride. density has the dimensions g/cc. have been created specifically for this application. Although about 60.
S. A typical engineering treatment in a classic text. Poggendorff. Calvert Created 11 May 2000 Last revised 5 January 2007 14 of 14 6/20/2008 12:43 AM . Facsimile reprint by Zentral-Antiquariat der DDR. 1964. Some calculus in an appendix. J. Loney. and is well-illustrated. see the article on Mercury. Knowing German helps a lot. It has not become mostly a medium of entertainment and advertising. For "school science. This is the best science museum in the world. C. The index is in Vol II. as well as the alcohol content of whiskey. (New York: McGraw-Hill. L. (1904). Wolf. Press. B. Such a resource would be very welcome. L." with no calculus but excellent.. For more information on the barometer and diffusion pump. but where you can still see original and unusual artifacts. 142pp. (1878).du. 6th ed. The website of the Deutsches Museum is positively excellent. T. B.20). Elements of Hydrostatics (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. 1882). of course with calculus. so it does not make it possible to visit the museum from where you are. The website contains actual information for others than children. as so many others have. Unfortunately. Chapter 2. Also for schools. Daugherty and J. 2nd ed. Return to Tech Index Composed by J.htm compounds in engine coolants. Vol. 1965). but there is random English here and there. Hydrostatics (London: William Collins. of course. Fluid Mechanics. Bottomley. Technology and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries. MA: Peter Smith. 1956) 2nd ed. A. only selected ones. Franzini. and would rise above internet shallowness. 1968). 253pp. Geschichte der Physik. painstaking explanation and practical applications. R. References J.edu/~jcalvert/tech/fluids/hydstat. Found in a used-bookshop for 10p ($0.Hydrostatics http://mysite. A History of Science. I (Gloucester. it does not have illustrations of most of the exhibits.
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