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Buoyancy

By | November 2011
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Buoyancy

In physics, buoyancy is a force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus a column of fluid, or an object submerged in the fluid, experiences greater pressure at the bottom of the column than at the top. This difference in pressure results in a net force that tends to accelerate an object upwards. The magnitude of that force is equal to the difference in the pressure between the top and the bottom of the column, and is also equivalent to the weight of the fluid that would otherwise occupy the column. For this reason, an object whose density is greater than that of the fluid in which it is submerged tends to sink. If the object is either less dense than the liquid or is shaped appropriately (as in a boat), the force can keep the object afloat. This can occur only in a reference frame which either has a gravitational field or is accelerating due to a force other than gravity defining a "downward" direction (that is, a non-inertial reference frame). In a situation of fluid statics, the net upward buoyancy force is equal to the magnitude of the weight of fluid displaced by the

with the clarifications that for a sunken object the volume of displaced fluid is the volume of the object, and for a floating object on a liquid, the weight of the displaced liquid is the weight of the object. More tersely: Buoyancy = weight of displaced fluid.

Archimedes' principle does not consider the surface tension (capillarity) acting on the body,[4] but this additional force modifies only the amount of fluid displaced, so the principle that Buoyancy = weight of displaced fluid remains valid. The weight of the displaced fluid is directly proportional to the volume of the displaced fluid (if the surrounding fluid is of uniform density). In simple terms, the principle states that the buoyancy force on an object is going to be equal to the weight of the fluid...
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