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Physics > Fundamentals > What is a Pascal Unit?

What is a Pascal Unit?

Introduction to Pascal Unit

First of all, Pascal unit is something very important in the field of physics. Furthermore, we know that strong winds during a storm or a cyclone can blow away the surroundings and even the roof-tops. Moreover, we know from the everyday science knowledge that the cyclones and winds are caused by the differences in air pressure.

Most noteworthy, when we try to push a nail into a wooden plank by its head, we don’t get success but when we try to push the nail by the pointed end, we get success. It is all because of the area over which the force applies. Such force acting on a unit area is Pressure and its unit is Pascal.

pascal unit

Blaise Pascal – Discoverer of Pascal Unit

The Pascal abbreviated as Pa refers to as the SI unit (International System of Units) of Pressure. Furthermore, pressure, in science, is defined as the force acting per unit area. The unit of Pressure has been named after Blaise Pascal.

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and philosopher. Moreover, during his time, he has developed and invented so many things that we still use in our daily life and are very common in everyday science.

His contribution to the field of hydrostatics is certainly immense. He has also invented a calculator, the syringe and the hydraulic press.

Pascal Unit of Pressure

Due to his immense and extensive contribution in hydrostatics, the international scientific community named the SI unit of pressure after him. Hence, in everyday science, the SI unit of pressure is Pascal (Pa).

Furthermore, in physics, the SI unit of Pressure quantifies or measures pressure, stress, Young’s module, and tensile strength.

Pascal Unit – Definition

One Pascal (Pa) is defined as the pressure imparted by a Force of one Newton perpendicularly on the area of one square meter.

Mathematically, one can derive the expression as follows,

Pressure P = Force F acting perpendicularly per unit area

= Force F / Area A = 1 Newton/1 square metre

= 1 N /m^2 = 1 Kg/ms^2 = 1 J/m^3

(where N is Newton, m is the meter, kg is the kilogram, s is the second, and J is the Joule).

Other Units of Pascal

A Pascal (Pa) unit is small. And for this, other units of Pascal are in usage. These are the multiple units of pascal.

Multiple units of the pascal are hectopascal, kilopascal and megapascal.

  • Firstly, 1 Hectopascal (hPa) = 100 Pascals (Pa), which is equal to 1 milibar.
  • Furthermore, 1 Kilopascal (kPa) = 1000 Pascals (Pa), which is equal to 1 centibar.
  • Also, 1 Megapascal (MPa) = 1000000 Pascals (Pa) = 1 million pascals.

Uses of Pascal Units

The pascal is a unit of measuring the pressure throughout the world. It has mostly replaced the psi unit or pounds per square inch used in the imperial measurement system.

Geophysicists around the world use the higher units of pascals like the Gigapascal (GPa), for measuring the tectonic stresses or calculating pressure within the Earth.

In the material science and engineering department, the pascal measures the tension (or the tensile strength), stiffness and compressive strength of materials.

In meteorology, the most convenient unit to measure the atmospheric pressure is the multiplying unit of pascal and that is hectopascals (hPa). One unit of standard atmospheric pressure is equal to 1013.25 hPa.

It is also useful in the measurement of sound pressure or loudness of sound. One pascal is equal to 94 decibels (dB)

Solved Question For You

Q. Is Pascal a derived unit?

Ans 1: Yes, Pascal (Pa) is a derived unit.

The SI system has only seven base units and they are length – meter, Mass – Kilogram, Time – second, Electric current – Ampere, Temperature – Kelvin, Amount of substance – mole, Luminous intensity – Candela.

All the other units are derived from these and Pascal (Pa) is one such derived unit, as explained in the below expression:

Pressure P of 1 Pascal (Pa) = 1 N /m^2 = 1 Kg/ms^2

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