Properties of Matter

Increasing pressure and exerting force

Physics Narrative for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Pressure results in forces

Look at the forces acting on these surfaces. They are all linked by the pressure of the fluid inside the container and depend on the chosen area of the surface. This is a useful and interesting connection.

Notice that the direction of the force is set by the orientation of the area. The force acts on the area because of the differential bombardment by the particles inside and out (so the pressure difference).

Also note the relationship between pressure in a fluid, the area that you choose to expose to the fluid and the force acting on that surface – always at right angles to that surface.

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

New videos on forces

Our first collection of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

Find out more