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Gravity vs Atmospheric Pressure Misconceptions
ravity’s relationship with atmospheric pressure?
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I’m asking for clarification here. If Earth had the same atmospheric mass per square unit of ground but the Earth had suddenly gained mass so it had twice the gravity at the surface, would the Earth now have twice the atmospheric pressure just because of the doubling of gravity? I know pressure is defined as force per area, but I’m not sure if air pressure works the same way. When I look up gravity and air pressure on the Internet it just has information on air pressure with height, but I’m not looking for that.
Qmechanic♦
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asked Dec 8, 2020 at 22:33
PyraniaPyrania
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Atmospheric air pressure occurs because the atmosphere is made of stuff that has mass, and therefore has weight due to gravity. The pressure of an atmosphere on a horizontal surface represents the total mass of a column of atmosphere from that surface all the way up into space. Of course atmospheric pressure works in all directions; considering only the vertical force allows us to understand how that pressure arises. As we travel up that column, pressure decreases because there is less mass above to weigh down on the column below.
As we travel up the column, gravity decreases (inversely proportional to square of distance from Earth’s center) but we can ignore this because the atmospheric “column” isn’t a uniform section – it is a tapered section (converges to an imaginary point at the Earth’s center) which exactly cancels out the decrease due to gravity because the crosssection of our atmospheric slice will increase in area as the square of distance from the Earth’s center.
If you double the surface gravity, all other things being equal, you will double the weight of that same mass of air, so you will double the pressure at the surface. Doubling the pressure will double the density – the atmosphere will “crowd” closer to the surface and the pressure vs altitude profile will look somewhat different.
answered Dec 8, 2020 at 23:07
Anthony XAnthony X
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Air pressure has everything to do with height because it is caused by the force exerted from the volume of air above weighing down.
That said, if Earth had twice the gravitational field strength at the surface, by the inverse square law this would mean that the Earth doubled in mass. This would double the gravitational force on all objects if they remain at the same distance r from the Earth’s centre as before:
$$F_{g,earth} = G \frac{M_{earth}m}{r^2}, \space \therefore F_{g,double} = 2F_{g,earth} = G \frac{2M_{earth}m}{r^2} $$
Therefore the force exerted by layers of air above would double. $P \propto F$, therefore atmospheric pressure $P_{atm}$ too would double.
answered Dec 8, 2020 at 22:50
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The phenomenon that determines atmospheric pressure is very similar to Pascal’s Law for incompressible liquids. But air isn’t an incompressible liquid: as a gas its density is quite dependent on pressure and temperature, for instance.
A doubling of $g$ would nonetheless double also the atmospheric pressure.
I know pressure is defined as force per area, but I’m not sure if air
pressure works the same way.
The definition of pressure isn’t dependent on the type of fluid.
answered Dec 8, 2020 at 22:54
GertGert
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If you double the gravity the air pressure will be doubled.
$F = mg$
we can replace $m$, mass, with density and volume, so,
$F = \rho V g $
Now let’s write the volume as area time height.
$F = \rho h A g$
Now we can calculate the pressure
$P = \frac{F}{A} = \rho h g$
You can see that pressure is directly proportional to $g$. Note that $h$ is height of the air above your head.
answered Dec 8, 2020 at 22:49
Kian MalekiKian Maleki
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The atmospheric pressure is directly related to gravity. Double the gravity and you should have double the pressure, at least on average.
answered Dec 8, 2020 at 22:43
Bill AlseptBill Alsept
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The force per unit area at the surface is the weight of the column of air above the unit area. If you double gravity, the weight of the column doubles.
answered Dec 9, 2020 at 2:55
Chet MillerChet Miller
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Without gravity the atmospheric pressure would be zero. That is, there would be no atmosphere.
answered Sep 1, 2021 at 22:27
my2ctsmy2cts
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Frequently Asked Questions About what is the relationship between air pressure and gravity
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic what is the relationship between air pressure and gravity, then this section may help you solve it.
How is air pressure impacted by gravity?
The air near the ground is pulled on by gravity and compressed by the air higher in the sky, which b>causes the air near the ground to be denser and at a greater pressure than air at higher elevations/b>. This is known as a density gradient and occurs as gravity hugs the blanket of air to the Earth’s surface.
What connection exists between air and gravity?
As there is no air, there is no gravity (there is no gravity on the moon, in Earth satellites, or in space; as one rises above the surface of the Earth, gravity lessens because the atmosphere thins). Gravity increases with height because it is related to the presence of air or is something in the air.
What connection exists between atmospheric pressure and Earth’s gravity?
Double the gravity and you should have twice the atmospheric pressure, at least on average, but this is only roughly true when the atmosphere is very shallow relative to the radius and gravitational acceleration is nearly equal throughout the entire atmosphere.
What connection exists between air and pressure?
The pressure of the air pushes on the balloon from the inside, causing it to inflate; if you heat the balloon, the air pressure increases; air pressure is dependent on both temperature and density of the air molecules.
Is the relationship between pressure and gravity linear?
As a result, the pressure a fluid exerts is directly proportional to its density at any given point and its height above the point.
Does pressure make gravity stronger?
Consider an ideal gas and ask what you mean by the pressure: The pressure of a gas is the result of moving gas molecules colliding with the walls of their contained and bouncing off. Yes, (positive) pressure increases gravity.
Can pressure exist without gravity?
In a closed vessel, a fluid medium can be artificially compressed to exert pressure that is independent of gravity. Pressure is the force caused by the microscopic movement of a fluid. Atmospheric pressure is essentially the weight of the column of air above us.
Is pressure a factor in gravity?
One of the four fundamental forces in the universe, gravity is a property of anything with mass, and it’s caused by an object bending spacetime around itself. The larger the object, the more of a force it will exert, and pressure isn’t even a force (technically).
What are the top 3 air pressure facts?
Isobars are lines connecting areas of equal air pressure. Air pressure changes help predict local weather. Rising air pressure typically indicates fair weather. The average sealevel pressure is 1013.25 mb.
What power is behind the air pressure?
Atmospheric pressure, also known as air pressure, is the force that is applied to a surface by the air above it as gravity pulls it to Earth. Atmospheric pressure is typically measured with a barometer.
What primarily affects air pressure?
1) Temperature, altitude or elevation, and moisture or water vapour are the three main variables that influence barometric (air) pressure.
What major factor contributes to air pressure?
Even the smallest air molecules have some weight, and the enormous numbers of air molecules that make up the layers of our atmosphere collectively have a great deal of weight, which presses down on whatever is below. Air pressure is caused by the weight of the air molecules above.
What exactly is the air pressure law?
According to Boyle’s law, a gas’s pressure and volume are inversely related to one another when the temperature is held constant. As volume rises, pressure decreases, and vice versa.
Which three laws of pressure apply?
The volume of a gas increases with temperature, according to Charles’ Law, Boyle’s Law states that the volume of a gas increases as the pressure decreases, and Avogadro’s Law states that the volume of a gas increases with the amount of gas.
What is the explanation for air pressure?
According to the Kinetic Gas Theory, these particles bounce around and collide with the container walls as well as other particles. As a result of these collisions, a force is generated over the surface area of the container, and a net pressure can be calculated.