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Chapter 4 – Fluids

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


You might have experienced gases gushing out when you try opening a bottle of coke. It is a result of the pressure exerted by fluids. Now let us first understand what fluids are.

Fluids is a substance that has the capabilities to flow anywhere like liquids and gases. Solids exert pressure on the surface where it is placed. Similarly, pressure in fluids is also experienced due to their weight. Pressure in fluids is observed on the bottom surface and the container walls in which it is confined.

Now let us find how the liquid column’s pressure is based on the depth of the liquid from the free surface.

Here let us consider the liquid with density in a large container. There is a cylinder with a surface XY(Area A) at a depth of h from the free surface AB, as shown in the figure.

Source: From the book Concise Physics Part 1(Class 9)

The next step is to find the thrust of the liquid in the cylinder VWXY of height h exerted on its bottom surface XY.

Thrust exerted on surface XY= Weight of the liquid in the liquid column VWXY

= Volume of the liquid column VWXY \times density \times acceleration due to gravity

= (Area of bottom surface XY \times height) \times \rho \times g

Thrust exerted on surface XY =(A \times h) \rho \times g

Now pressure applied on the liquid column =Thrust \above 1pt Surface\ Area

         = {(A \times h) \times \rho \times g} \above 1pt A

\Rightarrow Pressure applied on the liquid column=h \times \rho \times g

\Rightarrow Pressure applied on the liquid column= depth of the liquid from the free surface \times density of liquid \times acceleration due to gravity 

At a particular point on Earth, g is constant. So the pressure on the liquid will only depend on its depth h from the free surface and density of the liquid. The pressure of the liquid is independent of the containers’ shape and size. It is also independent of the area occupied by this container.

But it will depend on the atmospheric pressure applied to the liquid at a given point. Atmospheric pressure is the pressure applied within the atmosphere present on Earth.

Total pressure applied on any liquid at depth h = Atmospheric Pressure + Pressure exerted by the liquid column

Pascal’s law will explain the transmission of pressure in liquids. We have seen in the above section that the pressure exerted by a liquid of density at a depth of h from the free surface is given as,

The pressure exerted by the liquid = h \times \rho \times g

It implies that the difference in pressure between stationary points in the liquid should only depend on the vertical height difference between the free surface and these points. It would imply that if we decrease the pressure at some point in the liquid, the pressure must drop by at the same amount at all other points in the liquid.

Pascal’s law states that when the liquid is confined in a container, the pressure exerted by this liquid will equally transmit without reducing its magnitude across all directions.

Hydraulic machines are a perfect example of the transmission of pressure in liquids, as explained in Pascal’s law.

Buoyancy is a force exerted on an object partially or entirely immersed in a stationary fluid. It is a result of the pressure acting on the opposite sides of the object.

Archimedes Principle states that the buoyant force applied on the partially or wholly immersed object is equivalent to the fluid’s weight displaced by the object. This force will always act in the upward direction from the centre of mass of the complete fluid. Archimedes of Greece derived this principle, hence the name.

Mathematically it can be written as Buoyant force=Weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

Suppose when an object is immersed entirely in the fluid, and it displaces volume V of fluid.

Mass of the fluid displaced= Density X Volume

\Rightarrow Mass of the fluid displaced = \rho \times V

Weight of the fluid displaced = Mass of the fluid X Acceleration due to gravity

\Rightarrow Weight of the fluid displaced = \rho \times V \times g

We can write Archimedes principle as,

F_b = \rho \times g \times V

Where F_bis the buoyant force

The flotation principle states that when an object floats on the liquid, the buoyant force acting on the object is equal to its weight.

  • Hot-air balloon
    This type of balloon is filled with hot air. The buoyant force of the hot air present in such balloons is less than the atmospheric pressure. As a result, this balloon can travel upwards in the air. If we vary the amount of hot air in these balloons, then the buoyant force becomes more than the air surrounding it. As a result, it comes down to land.
  • Hydrometer
    A hydrometer contains lead shots because of which can vertically float on the liquid. If it goes lower in the liquid, it will indicate that the liquid’s density is lesser than the lead density.

It is important to remember that the pressure exerted by any liquid will depend only on the density of the liquid and acceleration due to gravity at that particular point. Also, the buoyant force exerted on a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced.

  1. How are you able to suck a juice using a straw?
    When we suck the juice using a straw, the straw’s air will reach our lungs, thereby decreasing the straw’s air pressure. The atmospheric pressure that will act on the juice will force it to travel upwards into the straw and ultimately to your mouth.
  2. How are we able to fill the ink in a fountain pen?
    When the rubber tube of the pen is pressed, air will escape in the form of bubbles in ink. It will result in reductions in the air pressure in the rubber tube of the fountain pen. Once we release the rubber tube, the ink will rise into the rubber tube as the nib’s atmospheric pressure is higher than the tube’s air pressure.
  3. What is atmospheric pressure?
    The thrust exerted on Earth’s unit surface area by the surrounding air column is called atmospheric pressure.
  4. Why do we make two holes in a sealed oil can?
    The air from outside enters through the first hole creating atmospheric pressure, thereby pushing the oil out from the second hole.
  5. What are the factors on which the pressure in the liquid does not depend?
    It does not depend on the liquid’s volume and the surface area or the container’s size containing the liquid.

Students often fail to understand the difference between thrust and Pressure. The MSVgo app offers several methods of interactive learning that will help in clarifying all such questions. Here you will find an extensive collection of videos, games, quizzes for kids of all age groups, and much more.

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
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  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
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  • Physical world
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  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
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  • Atomic Structure
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  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
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  • The d-block and f-block elements
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High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
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  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
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  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
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  • Plant Growth and Development
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  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
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  • Respiratory System
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  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
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  • Probability
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  • Sets and Functions
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  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
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  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
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  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
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  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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