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Water Pressure at Depth
You might have heard of the difficulties divers face when they descend into the ocean depths. Before a person can scuba dive, she needs to have many hours of instruction and training. Divers can experience joint pain, light headedness, loss of coordination, and paralysis if they do not carefully limit the depth and length of their dives. They also need to be especially cautious during their ascents and descents. Why?
Pressure, or the amount of force per unit of area, is the key. The Earth is covered with a layer of air 80 miles thick. Like any type of matter, the gases in air have mass, and since Earth’s gravity pulls this mass down onto the Earth’s surface, the air produces a force called atmospheric pressure.
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