What is Pressure?

Pressure depends on how much force or weight is exerted, and over the area on which that force is applied: greater force, more pressure.

The equation for working out pressure is:

pressure = force ÷ area

The unit for pressure is the pascal, Pa. Pa is the same as newtons per square meter N/m2. 1 Pascal = 1 N/m2.

Let us see some classic examples of pressure.

Drawing pins

If you held a drawing pin and pressed the pin the wrong way, what will happen? You surely will hurt yourself.

In the illustration above, there is more pressure at the pointed part of the pin, because that area is tiny, and given the same force, the pressure will be more. The pressure at the flat end is less because the area is wider.

High-heel shoes

Take a look at these two shoe types. If a lady wearing the high heel shoe stepped on your feet with her heels, that would almost punch a hole because of the heel’s little area. It would be less painful if she wore the flat pinky shoe because the sole is larger and the pressure is less.