Lesson Plan: Atmospheric Pressure Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe atmospheric pressure using various units and indicators such as the height of a mercury column.


Students will be able to

  • describe how a column of mercury can be used to measure atmospheric pressure,
  • convert pressure values between values that correspond to units of pascals (Pa), atmospheres (atm), millimeters of mercury (mmHg), bar, and torr (Torr).


Students should already be familiar with

  • the fact that 𝑝=𝜌𝑔,
  • the fact that 1 atm = 101 kPa.


Students will not cover

  • exponential pressure variation with altitude calculations.

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