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# UNDERSTANDING GAS PRESSURE & ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

Gas Pressure
200 kPa
+

500 kPa

400 kPa

1100 kPa

? kPa

Gas Pressure

The gas pressure in a container is caused by the collision of gas molecules with the wall of the container.

## How to measure gas pressure?

Bourdon Gauge
Bourdon gauge (consists of a semicircular or C-shaped copper tube that tends to straighten if more and more gas is pumped (compressed) into it).

Manometer
Manometer (consists of a U-tube about 1 m in height. About 50% of the volume of the U-tube is filled with liquid such as mercury or water).

Manometer
With both legs of a U-tube manometer open to the atmosphere or subjected to the same pressure, the liquid maintains the same level in each leg, establishing a zero reference.

Manometer
With a greater pressure applied to the left side of a U-tube manometer, the liquid lowers in the left leg and rises in the right leg.

The liquid moves until the unit weight of the liquid, as indicated by h, exactly balances the pressure.

Manometer

A manometer measures the pressure of a gas in a container Gas pressure is the force exerted by the collisions of gas particles with a surface

## Variations on the U-Tube Manometer

ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

Earths Atmosphere
About 10 km thick Consists mostly of molecular nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2)

## The air is made up of molecules.

Gravity pulls the air molecules toward the earth, giving them weight. The weight of the air molecules all around us is called the atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure is caused by the downward force exerted by the air, or the weight of the atmosphere on the Earths surface.

## Low altitudes = higher pressure

The greater altitude from the sea level, the smaller the atmospheric pressure.

A Barometer
is used

## The Aneroid Barometer

No fragile tubes! No toxic chemicals! No batteries! Never needs winding!

MILLIBARS

An aneroid barometer uses a cell which has had most of the air removed.
As the air pressure around the cell increases, it presses on the cell, which causes the needle to move.

## In 1643, Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer

Torricellis barometer used a glass column suspended in a bowl of mercury. The pressure of the air molecules pushed the mercury up into the glass tube. The weight of the mercury in the tube was equal to the weight of the air pressing down on the mercury in the dish.

## The Mercury Barometer

Good:
Simple to construct Highly accurate