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Converting Atmospheres to Pascals

Worked Pressure Unit Conversion Problem


Pressure applies to liquids, not just gases.

Pressure applies to liquids, not just gases.

Anne Helmenstine
This example problem demonstrates how to convert the pressure units atmospheres (atm) to pascals (Pa). Pascal is a SI pressure unit that refers to newtons per square meter. Atmosphere originally was a unit related to the air pressure at sea level. It was later defined as 1.01325 x 105 Pa.


The pressure under the ocean increases roughly 0.1 atm per meter. At 1 km, the water pressure is 99.136 atmospheres. What is this pressure in pascals?


1 atm = 1.01325 x 105 Pa

Set up the conversion so the desired unit will be cancelled out. In this case, we want Pa to be the remaining unit.

pressure in Pa = (pressure in atm) x (1.01325 x 105 Pa/1 atm)
pressure in Pa = (99.136 x 1.01325 x 105) Pa
pressure in Pa = 1.0045 x 107 Pa


The water pressure at a depth of 1 km is 1.0045 x 107 Pa.

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