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- Created 2012-03-13
is the force per unit area exerted on a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the
atmosphere of Earth
(or that of another planet). In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the
caused by the
above the measurement point. On a given planen, low-pressure areas have less atmospheric mass above their location, whereas high-pressure areas have more atmospheric mass above their location. Likewise, as
increases, there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that atmospheric pressure decreases with increasing elevation. On average, a column of air one square centimeter in cross-section, measured from
to the top of the atmosphere, has a mass of about 1.03 kg and
of about 10.1 N (2.28
) (A column one square inch in cross-section would have a weight of about 14.7 lbs, or about 65.4 N). Over the area of your body, there is about 1,000 kg of air; this is approximately the same as having a small car press down on you.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 24 May), licensed under
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