Properties of Matter

Useful phrases

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Talking about pressure and forces

When talking about pressure and forces be careful to distinguish between them. It is helpful to refer to:

  • The pressure at a point in a liquid (pressure is a scalar – you cannot have a direction associated with it).
  • Molecules bombarding a surface resulting in a force.
  • The force acting on an object (forces must always act on something in a specific direction; they are vector quantities).
  • The force exerted by one thing and acting on another.
  • The force acting on a surface due to the pressure of the fluid.

Teacher Tip: … pressure in a fluid…

Teacher Tip: … force acting on…

Teacher Tip: … force exerted by…

2023 IOP Awards

Teachers of Physics Awards

Recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to the field of physics education.

Learn more