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Buoyant Force and Floatation


An object immersed in water is subjected to two forces, the ________ of the object which acts
downwards and an _________ or buoyant force which acts upwards.
A buoyant force is the ________ force resulting from an object being wholly or partially immersed
in fluid.
An object which has a _________ less than the liquid in which it is submerged, will be subjected to
_________ force which causes the object to __________ on the surface of the liquid.
Conversely, an object which has a density _________ than the liquid in which it is submerge, will
_________ to the bottom as the buoyant force is not sufficiently strong enough to support the
__________ of the object.
When an object is immersed in a
fluid, the object will ____________
a certain volume of the fluid.

Archimedes Principle



Figure above shows an object attached to a spring balance. The ________ of the object in air, W1 is
__________ than its weight when immersed in water, W2. The different in weight is due to an
upward _________ force acting on an object by the water.
Consider the weight of an object in an air as its _________ weight and the measured when the object
is immersed in a fluid is its _________ weight. Hence:

Buoyant force = Actual weight, W1 Apparent weight, W2


In air, a load of mass 8 kg has a real weight, W1 = ___ N (reading on spring balance).
When the object is fully immersed in water, the reading on the spring balance, W2 = ___ N
(apparent weight)
Buoyant force is equal to the apparent _______in weight.
Buoyant Force



Apparent loss in weight

Actual weight - Apparent weight
80 N - 70 N
10 N

Archimedes Principle states that for a body immersed wholly or partially in a fluid, the upward
_________ force acting on the body is equal to the _________ of the fluid it _____________.


Figure above shows a rectangular block submerged in a liquid of density, . The pressure of the
liquid on the lower surface of the block, P2 is _________ than the pressure on the upper surface of
the block P1
Resultant force

= Buoyant force
= F2 - F1
= h2gA - h1gA
= gA (h2 h1)
= gV
= mg
= _________ of liquid displaced

Submerged Object


Weight of the object

V fluid displaced


Weight of the fluid displaced
V fluid displaced x fluid x g
V object x fluid x g

apparent loss in weight = Upthrust

Floating Object

Weight of the object = ________________

(only for a floating object and not for a sinking object)
Vfluid displaced = Vobject (for a sinking object Vfluid displaced = V object)
Vfluid displaced

V object in the fluid




A submarine applies the principle to enable it to _______ and _______. The _________ tanks are
special compartments in a submarine.
The submarine_______, when the ballast tank is filled with _____ so that the buoyant force is greater
than the _________ of the submarine.
The submarine______, when a ballast tanks are filled with ________ so that the buoyant force is
________ than the weight of submarine.

Hot Air Balloon


A hot-air balloon __________ a large volume of _____________

The balloon ________ when the buoyant force is less than its _______.
When its weight is equal to the buoyant force, it remains _________ in the air.


Weather balloons use a light gas such as ________or__________.

In Sport and recreation, balloon is filled with hot air which has a lower density than cold air. The
weight of the balloon can be varied by controlling the quantity of ___________ in the balloon.



A hydrometer is an instrument used to measure the ________ of liquids such as _______ in a battery.
It consists of a tube with a bulb at one end. ______ shots are placed in the bulb to ________in down
and enable the hydrometer ________ vertically in the liquids.
In a liquid of lesser density, a greater ________ of liquid must be __________ for the buoyant force
to equal the weight and so the more the hydrometer is submerged. The hydrometer floats ________
in a liquid of higher density.

1. What is the buoyant force acting on the
nut when immersed in water?

2. A stone weight 2.5 N. When it is fully submerged in a solution, its apparent weight is 2.2 N. Calculate the
density of the solution if its volume displaced by the stone is 25 cm3. ( g = 9.8 N kg-1)

3. Figure below shows the cross-section of a submarine. The volume of the submarine is 240 m3. When the
ballast tank is empty, the submarine floats at the surface of the sea with 3/4 of its volume below the surface
of the sea. The density of sea water is 1200 kg m-3.



On figure above mark and label two vertical forces acting on the submarine.

(ii) State the relationship between the two forces in (a) (i).



Calculate the magnitude of one of the two forces in (a) (i).


Name the principle used in b (i).

The captain of the submarine observed that the submarine is not strong enough to dive safely to the
bottom of the sea. Suggest modifications that can be made to the submarine to make it safer. Justify
your suggestions.

3.4 Applying Pascals Principle

The idea of Change of Pressure in a fluid

Diagram 1
1. Diagram 1 show that air is shot out from the holes in the glass flask with the same speed
when the piston is pushed into the flask.
2. This is because the pressure acting on the water is transferred uniformly through the

1. Pascals Principle state that pressure applied to an enclosed liquid is transmitted equally
to every part of the liquid.
2. A basic hydraulic system is operating on Pascals principle.
3. As stated in Pascals principle,
pressure is transmitted
uniformly throughout an
enclosed liquid. Figure 2 shows
pressure transmitted equally
from a smaller piston to a larger
P1 =

pressure applied on
small piston
P2 =
pressure applied on big
F1 = input force
F2 = output force
A1 = small piston area
A2 = large piston area

Figure 2

Application of Pascals Principle

1. One pratical device that
makes use of Pascals
principle is the hydraulic lift.
Since the input pressure, Pin
is equal to the output
pressure, Pout, we have.
A in


A out
A out
x Fin
A in

Since Aout is much bigger than Ain, the resulting force multiplier effect enables a heavy
object like a car to be lifted by much smaller input force.

2. In a hydraulic brake, when the brake pedal is pressed, pressure will be transferred
through the pedal brake liquid to the cars tyres.
3. In a drum brake, the pressure transferred will
(a) move the small piston
(b) cause the brake drum to be pressed by the brake pedal.
4. The frictional forces between these brake components cause the car to slow down and
5. When the brake pedal is released, a spring pulls the brake disc to their original positions.



Figure 1 shows a 10 N weight

balancing a X N weight placed on a
bigger syringe.
What is the value of X?

2. Figure 2 shows a garage hydraulic lift

with two pistons. The smaller piston has
a cross-sectional area, A1 = 4.0 cm2. The
bigger piston has a cross-sectional area,
A2 = 240 cm2.
If the maximum force that can be
applied on the smaller piston is 600 N.
What is the maximum weight of a car
that can be lifted by the bigger piston?

3. Diagram 1 shows a simple hydraulic

press. The cross-sectional area of piston
A and B are 0.08 m2 and 1.2 m2
What is the force which acts on
piston A?
Calculate the pressure exerted on
piston B.
Calculate the mass of load Y
which can be lifted by the piston
If the piston A moves down by 6
cm, calculate the distance moved
by the piston B.



Have you ever wondered how a massive object like an aeroplane can fly? When an aeroplane moves fast
enough on a runway, it experiences an upward lift that enables it to take off.

To understand how an aeroplane can fly, we need to understand an important principle in physics called
Bernoullis Principle.

Bernoullis Principle states that when the velocity of fluid is high, the pressure is low, and when the
velocity is low, the pressure is high.


Diagram below shows our daily activities which show the principle of Bernoulli.

When the air is blown in the surface of a piece of a paper as shown, it is observed that the paper
moves up.
This happened because the air moved at a very high velocity on the surface of the paper. In this case,
the air pressure on the surface of the paper will decrease.
So the paper is pushed up by the higher atmospheric pressure which acts at the bottom of the paper.

The filter funnel is inverted and a ping-pong ball is held below it.
When the air blows harder as shown in the diagram, it is observed that the ball is not falling down.
This phenomenon is caused by low pressure above the ball.
The bottom of the ball has the higher atmospheric pressure which can hold the ball from falling

When the air is blown harder through the straw as shown. The two ping-pong balls will move closely
to each other.
The faster the movement of air will cause the lower the pressure between the balls.
So the ping-pong balls get closer.
The ping-pong ball will be pushed closer to each other if there is higher atmospheric pressure which
acts on them.

Bernoullis Principle Applied to Fluid Flow in Tubes.


When water is not flow, the water levels A, B and C at the vertical tubes are the same.
When water is flowing at a steady rate, water levels at the vertical tubes are decreasing.
When water is not flowing, pressure at A, B and C are the same.
When water is flowing at a steady rate, it flows from higher pressure to lower pressure. The pressure at
A is higher that at B and the pressure at B is higher than at C.


When a fluid passes through a tube that narrows section, E, its speed increase, hence at E the water
flows at a higher velocity and its pressure is the lowest.

Application of Bernoullis Principle



The flight of an airplane is based on the principle regarding the effect of the flow of air around its
wings, which are in the form of an aerofoil.
Figure below shows that the upper region of the aerofoil has higher air velocity than the lower region
of the aerofoil. By Bernoullis principle, the lower region has a higher pressure than the upper region
of the aerofoil. This causes a lifting force on the aerofoil.

Bunsen burner


When gas flows out through the jet, the velocity of the gas is high and by Bernoullis principle, its
pressure is low.
Hence, atmospheric pressure will force the surroundings air into the burner. The mixture of the gas and
air allows a complete combustion.




Carburettor is a device which controls the speed of a car engine. It works by regulating the quantity of
petrol and air that enters the engine.
The air flows past a choke valve, which controls the quantity of air, into a narrow section of the
carburettor where the air velocity increases.
In accordance to Bernoullis principle, the high velocity of the air in the narrow section creates a
region of low pressure. The higher atmospheric pressure force the petrol to go up to the jet and is
ejected to form a spray.



Diagram shows an experiment. The tube is inverted into a basin of water.



The air flows in the tube from A to B;

Compare the velocity of air at K, L, and M,

Mark the water levels in tubes P, Q, and R.

Compare the pressure in tubes P, Q and R.

Name the principle used. Explain the principle.

Diagram shows an insecticide sprayer.


When the piston is pushed inwards, what happens to the pressure at P?


Explain your answer in (a)


Which of the following areas P, Q and R has the lowest pressure?


Explain your answer in (c).


Explain briefly how the insecticide can be sprayed out of the spray.


Objective Questions

The figure shows two polystyrene spheres are hung

by a string respectively.

When the air is blown harder through the straw, the

balls will

Which of the following is true regarding the water

level in tube X,Y and Z?

A remain stationary
B move closely to each other
C move far apart to each other


The figure shows the flow a liquid through a

Bernoulli tube. The smallest pressure of the liquid is
at point

The figure shows water rising up the tubes X,Y and

Z if the air is blown.

Water level in X < Water level in Y < Water

level in Z
Water level in X < Water level in Z < Water
level in Y
Water level in Z < Water level in Y < Water
level in X
Water level in Y < Water level in Z < Water
level in X

The figure shows the wing of an aeroplane which is

moving with a uniform acceleration in the direction
shown by the arrow.

The figure shows water flows through a Venturi

tubes from point P to point Q.
In which vertical tubes A ,B,C or D the pressure of
water is very low?
Which of the following is true?

The figure shows an arrangement of apparatus

which is used to show the Bernoullis Principle.

When the air is blown, the level of water in tube


The uplift force is higher than the weight of

The resultant force in direction of the motion
of the object is zero
The pressure in region P is higher than in
region Q
The velocity of air in region P is higher than in
region Q.

Which of the following is based on Bernoullis

A Syringe
B Drinking straw
C Bunsen burner
The figure shows a water spray that is
produced when the air flows through the jet.

X will the highest

Y will the highest
Z will the highest
X,Y and Z will the same

The curved path taken by the ball is due to

Which of the following is true?
A According to Pascals Principle, the above
system produces a water spray.
B The air pressure at Q is higher than that at P
C The velocity of air at Q is higher than that at P


equilibrium of forces
Bernoullis principle
Archimedes principle
principle of conservation of momentum

11 The figure shows a ping-pong ball that does not fall

when the water flows.

The figure shows a motion a ball when it is kicked

by a player.

The motion of the ball can be

explained by
A Principle of conservation of momentum
B Principle of conservation of energy
C Archimedes principle
D Bernoullis principle
10 A ball which is thrown forward in a spin moves in a
curve , as shown in the figure.

Which principle explains the figure?

A Pascals principle
B Bernoullis principle
C Archimedes principle
12 Which of the following instruments is not based on
Bernoullis principle?

Filter pump
Car carburettor
Rubber plunger
Wing of aeroplane