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3-1

Practical 3 HYDROSTATICS

I. INTRODUCTION

I.1 What is this practical about?

The aim of this practical work is to apply the principles taught in the physics tutorials and

lectures on hydrostatics (also named statics of fluids), which is the science of fluids at rest.

You may wear protective clothes for these experiments.

I.2 Preliminary exercises

Please prepare these exercises prior to the practical.

Exercise 1

water

Figure 1

We consider the wall of a tank which has water on one side and air on the other side (Fig. 1).

The wall has a square shape: its side length is denoted a and the angle between the wall and

the horizontal is denoted . In the following, represents the density of water whereas air

density is neglected.

Numerical application: a=9m, sin = 0.96, =1g/cm3, g=10 m.s-2.

(1.1) Give the literal expression of the pressure p in water first as a function of the

altitude z and then as a function of the distance along the tank, considering

the origin at O.

as a function of , g, a, and . Specify its modulus and make a sketch to

show how it is oriented.

dF

a function of , g, a, and . Specify its modulus and make a sketch to show

how it is oriented.

F

Determine the position of the action point of the resulting F, denoted C.

(3) Numerical application: calculate F and the coordinates of C.

Hydrostatics

3-2

Exercise 2

p0=ct

p0=ct

Figure 2

A window has the shape of an equilateral triangle (ABC). Its length is h ((Fig.2). It is part of a

vertical wall. One side of the window is in contact with water of density and the other side

with air. We will assume that p 0=ct. The side BC of the triangle is parallel to the free surface

of water and located at the distance h to it.

(1) Force generated by fluids at rest

What is the literal expression of the modulus and the orientation of the resulting

force F acting on the window? Give its expression as a function of , h and g.

(2) Action point of the resulting force

Determine the coordinates of the action point of the resulting F, denoted C.

II. BUOYANCY

In this section of the practical the buoyancy (also called Archimedes principle) will be

determined quantitatively. Buoyancy is the upward force caused by the fluid pressure that

enables an object to float or seem at least lighter. It is equal to the magnitude of the weight of

the fluid displaced by the body.

(Germany).

Hydrostatics

3-3

Archimedes was a Greek scientist who lived in Syracuse (Sicily) from 287 B.C. to 212 B.C.

(Figure 1). He is known for his multiple scientific studies, theories and experiments in

mathematics as well as in physics. Among these studies is the one on floating objects that sets

the basis for what would later become hydrostatics. He studies rigorously the immersion of a

solid or liquid body in a fluid that has a lower, equal or higher density.

II.1.

Available material

Bodies having different volumes and/or different masses, made out of various materials

(aluminium, brass, iron, zinc),

Two circular dynamometers with full scale of 1N and 2N to measure forces (the operating

principle is described in the appendix),

A calliper,

A densimeter.

II.2.

Practical work

1. With the material at hand, demonstrate the principle of buoyancy. Measure it for each

body immersed in water and write the associated uncertainty for each result.

2. What parameters influence the buoyancy?

3. Determine the density of salt water; explain how the densimeter works and use it to verify

your experimental result.

Given is the area of an n-sided regular polygon:

If R is the radius (distance from the centre to a vertex): S

II.3.

n R2

2

sin

2

n

Implementation: Exercise

A container carries two not miscible liquids in the field of gravity: oil ( oil = 600kgm-3) and

water (water = 1000kgm-3). A wooden sphere is also placed into this container ( wood =

900kgm-3).

1. Where will the sphere finally be located?

2. What fraction of the sphere is immersed in water?

3. The volume of a spherical cap of height h is V

h2 R

h

3 where R is the radius of

3

R

Hydrostatics

3-4

OF HYDROSTATICS

The aim of this chapter is to identify which parameters the pressure difference between two

points in a fluid depend on.

III.1.

Available material

A water manoscope (see below).

A 500mm ruler

III.2.

A manoscope consists of a manometer that is connected to a flexible pipe and plastic plunger

(Figure 2). A manometer measures the pressure difference between the gas volume confined

in a closed vessel and the atmospheric pressure. It performs a relative pressure measurement.

The difference in fluid height in the U-shaped tube partially filled with liquid and connected

to the environment at both ends of the tube is named h.

Flexible pipe

Screw for angular

adjustment

Membrane

Liquid

Manometer

Figure 2: Working principle of a manoscope.

1. Explain how the water manoscope works. Propose a method that enables the manoscope

to be calibrated.

2. If the manoscope can be read with millimeter precision, what is the smallest pressure

difference that can be measured with the water manoscope?

III.3.

Practical work

1. How does the pressure vary under water within a horizontal plane?

2. Plot the pressure or pressure difference as a function of depth under water and salt water.

Hydrostatics

3-5

3. Based on a dimensional analysis, show that the slope of the linear regression is

homogeneous to a mass density times an acceleration.

4. If the measurements above had been made with a liquid that had twice the density of the

liquid you used, what would have been then the measured values for the various heights

h?

IV.

MAGDEBURG HEMISPHERES

In 1654 Otto von Guericke, mayor of Magdeburg thought of an experiment to show the

existence of atmospheric pressure. He used two metallic hemispheres with a seal. After having

pumped the air out of the sphere, 16 horses were needed to pull the hemispheres apart. The

scene below (Figure 3) shows this experiment in Magdeburg in the presence of the emperor

Ferdinand III.

Reproduce this experiment and explain how it demonstrates the effect of atmospheric

pressure.

IV.1.

Exercise

A sphere is made out of two hemispheres of diameter D. Vacuum is created inside the two

hemispheres. What force does the operator need to apply to separate the hemispheres if D

= 87mm and p0 = 1bar?

Hydrostatics

3-6

V.

APPENDIX

A dynamometer measures forces or moments. Here it is used to measure forces. The

dynamometers used in this practical make use of Hookes law stated by Robert Hooke in 1678

by this Latin phrase: ut tension, sic vis, meaning like the tension is the force. In other words

the elongation is proportional to the force.

These dynamometers contain a spring with known stiffness. If subjected to a force (applied by

the bodies of this study), the spring is deformed and is elongated. After a calibration that takes

the spring stiffness into account, the scale (see Figure 5) allows the amplitude of the force

measured in Newton (N) to be read directly.

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