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Applications of Pressure in Daily Life
Application of atmospheric pressure or just air pressure refers to the numerous activities that we do or observe every day without even realising that there is an iota of pressure getting into the picture.
This is the same air pressure which is equivalent to 15 lbs per square inch at sea level and helps keep things around us the way they are.
We survive in this high pressure condition because we have evolved and managed our body functions withstand this amount of high pressure.
Whatever changes and activities we see around us are from the fact that these are mainly accomplished at sea level and that they are mostly spontaneous it always tries to maintain equilibrium between different physical systems.
Any changes either from the place of activity or on account of physical systems might cause change in pressure leading to the impairment or dysfunction of the system.
Let’s take a look at the different application of air pressure that we fail to note but are omnipresent.
(a) When we breathe the atmospheric pressure of 15 lbs at sea level causes the oxygen to pass through the semi permeable membrane easily. If the same activity is carried out in higher altitudes might cause hypoxia or deprivation of oxygen due to lower air atmospheric pressure.
(b) The ink dropper that we use almost on a daily basis actually works on the air pressure principle. As soon we create a low pressure by removing the air inside the bulb, the ink flows in to fill in the void.
(c) When a jet liner flies above 10000 feet the cabin pressurization is maintained by pumping compressed air into it to compensate the low pressure outside.
If not done these might lead to bleeding from nose and ears as the high blood pressure inside the blood vessels compared to low pressure would make them swell and burst open.
(d) The working of plungers that we use in sink revolves around the same principle of having lower pressure inside compared to the air pressure outside and the suction is nothing but actually a difference in air pressures.
(e) An aeroplane would take off from the ground based completely on the fact that when we cause the air to move we lessen the air pressure in the immediate surrounding and that helps in lifting the aeroplane.
(f) The cleaning vacuum used in homes are again working on the same principle of lower pressure created inside the machine causing it to suck everything inside including dust particles.
(g) Suction pumps used in village areas works on the same principle of creating low pressure inside the cylinder when we lift the piston and that causes the atmospheric pressure to push up the water to the surface.
(h) Blood pressure check up requires a inflatable cuff wrapped around the arm which is inflated to the max to stop the flow of blood and in turn calculate the blood pressure produced by heart.
This reading gives the idea of high blood pressure and as soon the cuff is deflated the blood flow gushes through and becomes normal after sometime.
The cessation of blood flowing under pressure gives an idea of lower point of blood pressure.
(i) Have you ever thought how a windshield of a car is fixed or is carried by the fixer or people who work on high rise buildings fix glass panels to the walls and windows? They all use glass fixing rubber suckers to carry the glass panes and attach it as well. The rubber suckers work on the same principle of lower pressure / vacuum inside or pushing out the air from inside and the high atmospheric pressure outside helps these suckers hold the position on wall.
(j) Working of a doctors syringe also revolves around the same principle of lowering the atmospheric pressure inside the syringe cylinder.
As we pull up the plunger of syringe there is a decrease the atmospheric pressure inside the syringe cylinder.
Tthe higher atmospheric pressure outside pushes the liquid from the vial up and when the plunger is pushed back the liquid is forced out due to higher atmospheric pressure above the plunger.
(k) In chemistry labs we come across several lab tools which works on the same principle of lowering atmospheric pressure inside a tool. Pipette is one of those lab tools which is used for measuring small volumes of reagents. When we press the bulb attached to pipette or suck the air inside is pulled out and that causes low atmospheric pressure inside the pipette.
This in turn helps in lifting the reagent and once the finger is released from top the pressureabove the reagent increase and that helps in pouring out the reagent.
(l) The cistern that we use in our washrooms / toilets are based on same principle. The atmospheric pressure inside the cistern is lowerd or decreased to an extent that allows the water to push through the outlet and once it is at par with the pressure outisde the water gushes in from the inlet.
(m) The fruits are stored in jars inadvertently uses the same principle. When we store fruits in jars we also put some water inside the jars and then put these jars in water bath which is brought to a boil. The boiling sterilizes the fruits while the steam produced inside drives away the air inside. These are then kept away after putting air tight caps on them.
(n) Many a times when low lying areas get flooded people use innovative ways to pump out the water from their basements where putting up a pump set difficult. Same principle based tools are applied to siphon out the excess water.
Siphon which uses both the atmospheric pressure and the cohesive force of water is used to flush out the water.
The siphon is filled with water and as water is filled within the siphon the air is forced out resulting in creating a low pressure around the water level and that helps in raising the water level which in turn uses the cohesive force of water to clear the accumulated water.
The atmospheric pressure would play a big role in maintaining a constant flow of water within the siphon as many a times due to formation of bubbles and other gases there is a chance of breakage in flow.
The application of air pressure and its scope is innumerable and the above mentioned examples are just a few to highlight that with.