The air is mainly composed by nitrogen (78 %) and oxygen (21 %), apart from other gases as carbon dioxide, neon, argon, helium or hydrogen. Therefore, the air weighs. To talk about atmospheric pressure, we need to think as if we were inside a swimming pool. The deeper you go, the more pressure you feel, because there is more water over you. The behaviour with the air is exactly the same. The amount of air over us is different, depending on how high we live over the sea level. Thus, it is not the same in Amsterdam or on the top of the Everest.
So, let’s experiment pressure! You will need:
- A ruler.
- An A4 paper or bigger.
- Place the ruler on the edge of a table. For example, if it is of 30 cm, place the ruler with 15 cm within the table, and the other half outside.
- Put the paper above the ruler, covering everything.
- Hit the ruler from the outside part, from up to down, as if you wanted to make the paper fly off.
Can you move it? No? Try again. The same again? Yes! You get it. This force in the opposite direction from your movement, that prevents the paper from flying off or moving, is the ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE!
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