Physics of Hydraulics

Topics: Fluid mechanics, Fluid statics, Hydraulics Pages: 3 (563 words) Published: December 6, 2012
The type of physics that I will be presenting is a branch of Fluid Mechanics. Fluid mechanics studies the physics of gases and liquids.

Hydraulics is defined as:

"a branch of science that deals with practical applications of liquid in motion."

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, via

The science started over thousands of years ago with Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) and Archimedes (287-212 B.C.).

Many European scientists also contributed to hydraulics, including da Vinci, Mariotte and Boyle.

The scientist who discovered the main principle I will be talking about is Pascal.

A French scientist who studied math and physics. His work included studying atmospheric pressure, conic sections and the principles of hydrostatics.

After Pascal there is Bernoilli, Franklin and Froud, who all also contributed to the science of hydraulics.

How it works (the physics part)

The basic rule of using hydraulic power is Pascal's Principle.

Pascal's Principle:
pressure exerted on a fluid is distributed equally throughout the fluid.

Hydraulics uses incompresible liquids so the applied pressure from one end (small arrow) is equal to the desired pressure on the other end (big arrow).

The big arrow is pointing toward a piston that is free to move, and is sometimes connected to a rod. When the force is applied, the piston moves up or down.

The equations are:

Of course, as Prof. Newman says, "there is no free lunch," In order to move the larger area, the smaller area has to move a lot in order to move the larger area a little.

The larger area is nine times greater than the smaller area. In order to move the larger piston one inch, the smaller piston has to move nine inches.

The Uses of Hydraulics

Hydraulics are used in many ways. Most of them are used everyday and not even thought about. Here are some examples of how hydraulics are used. They are all machines (I'm a mechanical...
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