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The pascal (symbol: Pa) is the unit of
pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force applied perpendicular to the surface of an object per unit area over which that force is distributed. Gauge pressure (also spelled ''gage'' pressure)The preferred spelling varies by country and ...
in the International System of Units (SI), and is also used to quantify
internal pressure Internal pressure is a measure of how the internal energy of a system changes when it expands or contracts at constant temperature. It has the same dimensions as pressure, the SI unit of which is the pascal. Internal pressure is usually given t ...
, stress,
Young's modulus Young's modulus E, the Young modulus, or the modulus of elasticity in tension or compression (i.e., negative tension), is a mechanical property that measures the tensile or compressive stiffness of a solid material when the force is applied le ...
, and
ultimate tensile strength Ultimate tensile strength (UTS), often shortened to tensile strength (TS), ultimate strength, or F_\text within equations, is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking. In brittle materials ...
. The unit, named after Blaise Pascal, is defined as one newton per square metre and is equivalent to 10
barye The barye (symbol: Ba), or sometimes barad, barrie, bary, baryd, baryed, or barie, is the centimetre–gram–second (CGS) unit of pressure. It is equal to 1 dyne per square centimetre. : =  =  = =  = See also *Pasca ...
(Ba) in the CGS system. The unit of measurement called standard atmosphere (atm) is defined as 101,325 Pa. Common multiple units of the pascal are the hectopascal (1 hPa = 100 Pa), which is equal to one
millibar The bar is a metric unit of pressure, but not part of the International System of Units (SI). It is defined as exactly equal to 100,000  Pa (100 kPa), or slightly less than the current average atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea le ...
, and the kilopascal (1 kPa = 1000 Pa), which is equal to one centibar.
Meteorological Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric chemistry and physics) with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not ...
observations typically report
atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer), is the pressure within the atmosphere of Earth. The standard atmosphere (symbol: atm) is a unit of pressure defined as , which is equivalent to 1013.25 millibars, 7 ...
in hectopascals per the recommendation of the World Meteorological Organization, thus a standard atmosphere (atm) or typical sea-level air pressure is about 1013 hPa. Reports in the United States typically use
inches of mercury Inch of mercury (inHg and ″Hg) is a non- SI unit of measurement for pressure. It is used for barometric pressure in weather reports, refrigeration and aviation in the United States. It is the pressure exerted by a column of mercury in hei ...
or millibars (hectopascals). In Canada these reports are given in kilopascals.

# Etymology

The unit is named after Blaise Pascal, noted for his contributions to hydrodynamics and hydrostatics, and experiments with a
barometer A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure in a certain environment. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather. Many measurements of air pressure are used within surface weather analysis ...
. The name pascal was adopted for the SI unit newton per square metre (N/m2) by the 14th
General Conference on Weights and Measures The General Conference on Weights and Measures (GCWM; french: Conférence générale des poids et mesures, CGPM) is the supreme authority of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), the intergovernmental organization established i ...
in 1971.Minutes of the 14. General Conference on Weights and Measures
1971, page 78

# Definition

The pascal can be expressed using SI derived units, or alternatively solely SI base units, as: : where N is the newton, m is the
metre The metre ( British spelling) or meter ( American spelling; see spelling differences) (from the French unit , from the Greek noun , "measure"), symbol m, is the primary unit of length in the International System of Units (SI), though its pre ...
, kg is the kilogram, s is the
second The second (symbol: s) is the unit of time in the International System of Units (SI), historically defined as of a day – this factor derived from the division of the day first into 24 hours, then to 60 minutes and finally to 60 seconds ...
, and J is the
joule The joule ( , ; symbol: J) is the unit of energy in the International System of Units (SI). It is equal to the amount of work done when a force of 1 newton displaces a mass through a distance of 1 metre in the direction of the force appli ...
. One pascal is the pressure exerted by a force of magnitude one newton perpendicularly upon an area of one square metre.

# Standard units

The unit of measurement called an atmosphere or a standard atmosphere (atm) is . This value is often used as a reference pressure and specified as such in some national and international standards, such as the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 2787 (pneumatic tools and compressors), ISO 2533 (aerospace) and ISO 5024 (petroleum). In contrast, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) recommends the use of 100 kPa as a standard pressure when reporting the properties of substances.
Unicode Unicode, formally The Unicode Standard,The formal version reference is is an information technology standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. The standard, w ...
has dedicated code-points and in the CJK Compatibility block, but these exist only for backward-compatibility with some older ideographic character-sets and are therefore deprecated.

# Uses

The pascal (Pa) or kilopascal (kPa) as a unit of pressure measurement is widely used throughout the world and has largely replaced the
pounds per square inch The pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch (symbol: lbf/in2; abbreviation: psi) is a unit of pressure or of stress based on avoirdupois units. It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied ...
(psi) unit, except in some countries that still use the imperial measurement system or the US customary system, including the United States. Geophysicists use the gigapascal (GPa) in measuring or calculating tectonic stresses and pressures within the
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large volumes of water can be found throughout the Solar System, only Earth sustains liquid surface water. About 71% of Earth's surface ...
. Medical
elastography Elastography is any of a class of medical imaging modalities that map the elastic properties and stiffness of soft tissue.Sarvazyan A, Hall TJ, Urban MW, Fatemi M, Aglyamov SR, Garra BSOverview of elastography–an emerging branch of medical i ...
measures tissue stiffness non-invasively with ultrasound or
magnetic resonance imaging Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves ...
, and often displays the
Young's modulus Young's modulus E, the Young modulus, or the modulus of elasticity in tension or compression (i.e., negative tension), is a mechanical property that measures the tensile or compressive stiffness of a solid material when the force is applied le ...
or
shear modulus In materials science, shear modulus or modulus of rigidity, denoted by ''G'', or sometimes ''S'' or ''μ'', is a measure of the elastic shear stiffness of a material and is defined as the ratio of shear stress to the shear strain: :G \ \stackre ...
of tissue in kilopascals. In materials science and
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more speciali ...
, the pascal measures the stiffness, tensile strength and
compressive strength In mechanics, compressive strength or compression strength is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size (as opposed to tensile strength which withstands loads tending to elongate). In other words, compres ...
of materials. In engineering the megapascal (MPa) is the preferred unit for these uses, because the pascal represents a very small quantity. The pascal is also equivalent to the SI unit of
energy density In physics, energy density is the amount of energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume. It is sometimes confused with energy per unit mass which is properly called specific energy or . Often only the ''useful'' or extrac ...
, the joule per cubic metre. This applies not only to the thermodynamics of pressurised gases, but also to the energy density of
electric Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. Electricity is related to magnetism, both being part of the phenomenon of electromagnetism, as described ...
,
magnetic Magnetism is the class of physical attributes that are mediated by a magnetic field, which refers to the capacity to induce attractive and repulsive phenomena in other entities. Electric currents and the magnetic moments of elementary particles ...
, and
gravitational In physics, gravity () is a fundamental interaction which causes mutual attraction between all things with mass or energy. Gravity is, by far, the weakest of the four fundamental interactions, approximately 1038 times weaker than the stron ...
fields. The pascal is used to measure sound pressure.
Loudness In acoustics, loudness is the subjective perception of sound pressure. More formally, it is defined as, "That attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be ordered on a scale extending from quiet to loud". The relation of phy ...
is the subjective experience of sound pressure and is measured as a
sound pressure level Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient (average or equilibrium) atmospheric pressure, caused by a sound wave. In air, sound pressure can be measured using a microphone, and in water with a hydropho ...
(SPL) on a logarithmic scale of the sound pressure relative to some reference pressure. For sound in air, a pressure of 20 μPa is considered to be at the threshold of hearing for humans and is a common reference pressure, so that its SPL is zero. The airtightness of buildings is measured at 50 Pa. In medicine, blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg, very close to one
Torr The torr (symbol: Torr) is a unit of pressure based on an absolute scale, defined as exactly of a standard atmosphere (). Thus one torr is exactly (≈ ). Historically, one torr was intended to be the same as one " millimeter of mercur ...
). The normal adult blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg systolic BP (SBP) and less than 80 mmHg diastolic BP (DBP). Convert mmHg to SI units as follows: 1 mmHg = 0.13332 kPa. Hence normal blood pressure in SI units is less than 16.0 kPa SBP and less than 10.7 kPa DBP. These values are similar to the pressure of water column of average human height; so pressure has to be measured on arm roughly at the level of the heart.

## Hectopascal and millibar units

The units of atmospheric pressure commonly used in
meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric chemistry and physics) with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not ...
were formerly the
bar Bar or BAR may refer to: Food and drink * Bar (establishment), selling alcoholic beverages * Candy bar * Chocolate bar Science and technology * Bar (river morphology), a deposit of sediment * Bar (tropical cyclone), a layer of cloud * Bar ...
, which was close to the average air pressure on Earth, and the millibar. Since the introduction of SI units, meteorologists generally measure pressures in hectopascals (hPa) unit, equal to 100 pascals or 1 millibar. Exceptions include Canada, which uses kilopascals (kPa). In many other fields of science, prefixes that are a power of 1000 are preferred, which excludes the hectopascal from use. Many countries also use millibars. In practically all other fields, the kilopascal (1000 pascals) is used instead.Ambler Thompson (Editor)

# Multiples and submultiples

Decimal multiples and sub-multiples are formed using standard SI units.

*
Atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer), is the pressure within the atmosphere of Earth. The standard atmosphere (symbol: atm) is a unit of pressure defined as , which is equivalent to 1013.25 millibars, 7 ...
which gives the usage of the hbar and the mbar *
Centimetre of water A centimetre or millimetre of water (US spelling ''centimeter'' or ''millimeter of water'') are less commonly used measures of pressure derived from pressure head. Centimetre of water A ''centimetre of water'' (US spelling ''centimeter of wate ...
*
Meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric chemistry and physics) with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not ...
*
Metric prefix A metric prefix is a unit prefix that precedes a basic unit of measure to indicate a multiple or submultiple of the unit. All metric prefixes used today are decadic. Each prefix has a unique symbol that is prepended to any unit symbol. The pr ...
* Orders of magnitude (pressure) *
Pascal's law Pascal's law (also Pascal's principle or the principle of transmission of fluid-pressure) is a principle in fluid mechanics given by Blaise Pascal that states that a pressure change at any point in a confined incompressible fluid is transmitted ...
*
Pressure measurement Pressure measurement is the measurement of an applied force by a fluid (liquid or gas) on a surface. Pressure is typically measured in units of force per unit of surface area. Many techniques have been developed for the measurement of pressur ...