# What is pressure?

## Pressure

Pressure (the symbol: p) is the ratio of force to the area over which that force is distributed. In other words, pressure is force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure (also spelled gage pressure) is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure. While pressure may be measured in any unit of force divided by any unit of area, the SI unit of pressure (the newton per square metre) is called the pascal (Pa) after the seventeenth-century philosopher and scientist Blaise Pascal. A pressure of 1 Pa is small; it approximately equals the pressure exerted by a dollar bill resting flat on a table. Everyday pressures are often stated in kilopascals (1 kPa = 1000 Pa).

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### Famous quotes containing the word pressure:

The area [of toilet training] is one where a child really does possess the power to defy. Strong pressure leads to a powerful struggle. The issue then is not toilet training but who holds the reins—mother or child? And the child has most of the ammunition!
Dorothy Corkville Briggs (20th century)

He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
Plato (c. 427–347 B.C.)

By school age, many boys experience pressure to reveal inner feelings as humiliating. They think their mothers are saying to them, “You must be hiding something shameful.” And shucking clams is a snap compared to prying secrets out of a boy who’s decided to “clam up.”
Ron Taffel (20th century)