Light and sound waves reveal negative pressure

Negative pressure is a rare and challenging-to-detect phenomenon in physics. Using liquid-filled optical fibers and sound waves, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) in Erlangen have now ...

SpaceX test fires a Raptor engine, simulating a lunar landing

When NASA astronauts return to the surface of the moon in the Artemis III mission, the plan is to use a modified SpaceX Starship as their lunar lander. NASA announced last week that SpaceX has now demonstrated an important ...

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Atmospheric pressure

Atmospheric pressure is sometimes defined as the force per unit area exerted against a surface by the weight of air above that surface at any given point in the Earth's atmosphere. In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point. Low pressure areas have less atmospheric mass above their location, whereas high pressure areas have more atmospheric mass above their location. Similarly, as elevation increases there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that pressure decreases with increasing elevation. A column of air one square inch in cross-section, measured from sea level to the top of the atmosphere, would weigh approximately 65.5 newtons (14.7 lbf). The weight of a 1 m2 (11 sq ft) column of air would be about 101 kN (10.3 tf).

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