Pascal law and its applications

What is Pascal’s Law and how do we use it?

An external force applied on the surface of a liquid increases the liquid pressure at the surface of the liquid. This increase in liquid pressure in transmitted equally in all directions and to the walls of the container in which it is filled. This result is called Pascal’s principle which is stated:

Pressure applied at any point of a liquid enclosed in a container, is transmitted without loss to all other parts of the liquid”.

Pascal law formula

pascal law formula

container used in pascal law

It can be demonstrated with the help of the glass vessel having holes all over its surface. Fill it with water. Push the piston. The water rushes out of the holes in the vessel with the same pressure. The force applied on the piston exerts pressure on water. This pressure is transmitted equally throughout the liquid in all directions.

In general, this law holds good for fluids both for liquids as well as gases.

 Pascal’s principle examples  in real life

Pascal’s law finds numerous examples in our daily life such as :

  • automobiles
  •  hydraulic brake system
  • hydraulic jack
  • hydraulic press
  •  hydraulic machines.

Applications of pascal’s law

  • Hydraulic press

pascal law application

Hydraulic press is a machine which works on Pascal’s law. It consists of two cylinders of different cross-sectional areas. They are fitted with pistons of cross-sectional areas a and A. The object to be compressed is placed over the piston of large cross-sectional area A. The force F1 is applied on the piston of small cross-sectional area a. The pressure P produced by small piston transmitted equally to large piston and a force F2 acts on A which is much larger than F1.

Press on piston of small area a is given by :

P =F1/a

Apply pascal’s law, the pressure on large piston of area A will be the same as on small piston.

  • P =F2/A

Comparing the above equations, we get:

F2/A= F1/a


F2= A ×F1/a


F2 = F1 ×A/a

Since the ratio   is greater than 1, hence the force F2 that acts on the larger piston is greater than the force F1 acting on the smaller piston. Hydraulic systems working in this way are known as force multipliers.

Braking system in Vehicles

break system is application of pascal law

The braking systems of cars, buses, etc.also work on pascal’s law. The hydraulic brakes allow equal pressure to be transmitted throughout the liquid. When brake pedal is pushed, it exerts a force on the master cylinder, which increases the liquid pressure in it. The liquid pressure is transmitted equally through the liquid in the metal pipes to all the pistons of the other cylinders. Due to the increase in liquid pressure, the pistons in the cylinders move outward pressing the brake pads with the brake drums. The force of friction between the brake pads and the brake drums stops the wheels.

Hydraulic lift

pascal principle examples

In a hydraulic lift a narrow cylinder A is connected with a wider cylinder B and they are fitted with air tight pistons.It is filled with some in compressible fluid.Pressure can be applied to move the piston in the cylinder A in the downward direction.

The pressure so applied is transmitted according to pascal’s principle to the piston of the cylinder B.Consequently ,the piston B moves upward in a hydraulic lift the piston B is used as a platform for a car or any heavier object to be lifted ,like truck ,cars,also in play land etc.

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