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June 17th, 2012, 01:45 AM   #1
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The lowest pressure

Hi there, I have a question with an example that I found on a physics test.
Four balloons with the same size are dropped off from the same height on boards that have different numbers of nails. In which of the cases in the balloon will be the lowest pressure?

Please also include some explanation about the correct answer.
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June 17th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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Re: The lowest pressure

The more nails, the more nail tips we have to share the weight of the balloon. This is why people may lay on a bed of nails, but you would not see a (sane) person lay on 1 nail. This comes from the definition of pressure:

Pressure is force per area, i.e.:

For constant F, as A increases, P decreases.
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