Orders of magnitude (pressure)

Orders of magnitude (pressure)

This is a tabulated listing of the orders of magnitude in relation to pressure expressed in pascals.

Magnitude Pressure lbf/in2 or dB Item
0.1 pPa Interstellar space pressure (approximate)
1 pPa Lowest pressure obtained in laboratory conditions.[1]
40 pPa Atmosphere of the Moon at lunar day, very approximately (4×10−11 Pa)[2]
100 pPa Atmosphere of Mercury, very approximately (1×10−10 Pa)[3]
800 pPa Atmosphere of the Moon at lunar night, very approximately (80×10−11 Pa)[2]
1 nPa Vacuum expected in the beam pipe of the Large Hadron Collider's Atlas experiment[4]
10 nPa Pressure inside a vacuum chamber for laser cooling of atoms (Magneto-optical trap) experiments
100 nPa Upper limit of ultra high vacuum
1 µPa Reference pressure for sound in water.[5]
1 µPa Pressure inside a vacuum tube (approximate, varies).
10 µPa Radiation pressure of sunlight on a perfectly reflecting surface at the distance of the Earth.[6]
20 µPa 0 dB Reference pressure for sound in air.[7]
20 µPa 0 dB Threshold of human hearing – the smallest RMS pressure fluctuation that the human ear can hear in a noiseless environment, at frequencies between 1 kHz and 5 kHz.[7]
100 µPa Near Earth outer space pressure (approximate)
500 µPa Atmospheric pressure on Pluto (1988 figure; very roughly)
100 mPa Upper limit of high vacuum
1 Pa 1 Pa Pressure exerted by a US dollar bill resting flat on a surface[8]
1 Pa Upper limit of molecular distillation, where the mean free path of molecules is larger than the equipment
10 Pa 10 Pa Pressure increase per millimeter of a water column at Earth mean sea level.
10 Pa Pressure inside an incandescent light bulb (approximate)
100 Pa ~130 dB Threshold of pain pressure level for sound. Prolonged exposure may lead to hearing loss.
300 Pa 0.043 psi Differential air pressure for normal or easy breathing of a person. Natural outside air pressure of 1 bar (or ~1 atm at 180 m elevation) is about 14 psi, but breathing in and out[9] may only change total air pressure 0.3%, between 96.3 kPa (13.96 psi) and 96.8 kPa (14.04 psi). By comparison, trumpet players have been shown to push from 3.4 kPa (0.5 psi) up to 13 kPa (1.9 psi) (45 times harder, but still only 13% of 1 atm total).
610 Pa 0.089 psi Partial vapour pressure at the triple point of water (611.73 Pa)
1 kPa 0.15 psi Atmospheric pressure on Mars, 1% of atmospheric sea-level pressure on Earth
1.5 kPa Pressure of popping popcorn[10]
2.6 kPa 0.38 psi or 20 mmHg Pressure to make water boil at room temperature (22 °C).[11]
6.9 kPa 1 psi 1 pound-force per square inch
10 kPa 1.5 psi Pressure increase per meter of a water column
10 kPa 1.5 psi Drop in air pressure when going from Earth sea level to 1000 m elevation
13 kPa 1.9 psi High air pressure for human lung measured in trumpet player making staccato high notes.[12] A cough or sneeze will be notably lower, since a typical person can exert lung pressure of about 9.8 kPa (74 mmHg or 1.4 psi),[13] though it has been noted that a healthy adult may push briefly with 19.3 kPa (2.8 psi) of pressure without injury.
17 kPa 2.4 psi Systolic blood pressure in a healthy adult (125 mmHg while at rest) with a fluctuation of about 7 kPa (50 mmHg, 1.6 psi) between systolic and diastolic pressure (10 kPa, 75 mmHg, or 1.45 psi) between heartbeats.
80 kPa 12 psi Pressure inside vacuum cleaner at sea level on Earth (80% of standard atmospheric pressure)
87 kPa 13 psi Record low atmospheric pressure for typhoon/hurricane (Typhoon Tip in 1979) (only 86% of standard atmospheric pressure)[14]
100 kPa 15 psi 1 bar (14.5 psi)[15], approximately equal to the weight of one kilogram (1 kilopond) acting on one square centimeter
101 kPa 15 psi Standard atmospheric pressure for Earth sea level (14.7 psi)
150 to 550+ kPa 25 to 80+ psi Impact pressure of a fist punch (approximate). Typical force may total 150 to 500 pounds-force (670 to 2,200 N), applied to area of ~6 square inches (39 cm2). Actual impact pressure depends on strike to bone, soft tissue, padded surface, or brick wall. Also depends upon deflection or resistance of object struck. Heavyweight boxing champions have been shown to strike with over 1,000 pounds-force (4,400 N) of force, which would imply ~170 psi (1100+ kPa) over same area.
+180 to +250 kPa +26 to +36 psi Air pressure in an automobile tire relative to atmosphere (gauge pressure)
+200 to +1,500 kPa +30 to +220 psi Air pressure in a bicycle tire relative to atmosphere (gauge pressure).
400 to 500 kPa 58 to 73 psi Typical UK pressures for domestic mains water supply.
407 to 607 kPa 59 to 88 psi Air pressure in a champagne bottle.[16]
517 kPa 75 psi Partial vapour pressure at the triple point of carbon dioxide.
+690 to +830 kPa +100 to +120 psi Air pressure in a heavy truck/bus tire relative to atmosphere (gauge pressure)
0.8 to 2 MPa 120 to 290 psi Pressure used in boilers of steam locomotives
4.5 MPa 650 psi Military submarine max. rated pressure (est.) of SeaWolf class nuclear sub, at depth of 490m (1600 ft).
9.2 MPa 1300 psi Atmosphere of Venus (92 bar)[17]
10 MPa 1450 psi Pressure washers force out water at this pressure
> 10 MPa > 1500 psi Pressure exerted by a 45-kg woman wearing stiletto heels when a heel hits the floor[18]
14 MPa 2000 psi Three unmanned robotic submarines working with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, at 5,000 feet (1,500 m). The Japanese Shinkai manned research sub has reached depths of 6500 meters, and over 2,600 psi (18 MPa).
15 MPa 2200 psi Power stroke maximum pressure in diesel truck engine when burning fuel.
20 MPa 2900 psi Pressure of a typical aluminium scuba tank or pressurized gas cylinders (200 bar).
20 MPa 2900 psi Typical pressure used for hydrogenolysis reactions.[19]
100 MPa 15000 psi Pressure at bottom of Mariana Trench, about 11 km below ocean surface (1000 bar)
100 to 300 MPa 15,000–44,000 psi Pressure inside reactor for the synthesis of high-pressure polyethylene (HPPE)[20]
400 MPa 58,000 psi Chamber pressure of .50 BMG weapon discharge
600 MPa 87,000 psi Water pressure used in a water jet cutter.
1 GPa Extremely high-pressure chemical reactors (10 kbar).
9 GPa Pressure at which octaoxygen forms [21] (90,000 bar)
18 GPa Pressure needed for the first commercially successful synthesis of diamond
24 to 110 GPa Stability range of enstatite in its perovskite-structured polymorph, possibly the most common mineral inside the Earth
34 GPa Up to

5,000,000 psi

Ballistic pressure exerted as high-power bullet strikes solid (bulletproof) object. Much of the kinetic force effectively transfers to heat, as the projectile deforms and melts into the surface upon impact. In most cases, a much lower pressure is sufficient to break through a target object, and the pressure exerted is divided by the stopping distance.
40 GPa Quantum mechanical electron degeneracy pressure in a block of copper[22]
96 GPa Pressure at which metallic oxygen forms[23] (960,000 bar)
100 GPa Theoretical tensile strength of a carbon nanotube (CNT)
130 GPa Intrinsic strength of monolayer graphene[24]
300 GPa Pressure attainable with a diamond anvil cell
360 GPa Pressure inside the core of the Earth (3.64 million bar) [25]
530 TPa Pressure inside an Ivy Mike-like nuclear bomb detonation (5.3 billion bar)
6.4 PPa Pressure inside a W80 nuclear warhead detonation (64 billion bar)
25 PPa Pressure inside the core of the Sun.[26] (250 billion bar)
57 PPa Pressure inside a uranium nucleus (8 MeV in a sphere of radius 175 pm)[27]
1034 Pa 0.3 to 16×1034 Pa Pressure range inside a neutron star[28]
4.6×10113 Pa 6.7×10109 psi The Planck pressure (4.63x10108 bar), not reached except shortly after the Big Bang or in a black hole.


  1. ^ Thompson, W. (1977). "Characteristics of a cryogenic extreme high-vacuum chamber". Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology 14 (1): 643–645. Bibcode 1977JVST...14..643T. doi:10.1116/1.569168. 
  2. ^ a b "WikiAnswers –". http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_atmospheric_pressure_on_the_moon. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  3. ^ "Mercury Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. http://web.archive.org/web/20080724161511/http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/mercuryfact.html. 
  4. ^ CERN. Bringing the vacuum to its lowest value. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-09-14
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  6. ^ G. Vulpetti, L. Johnson, G. L. Matloff, Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Flight, Springer, August 2008
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  8. ^ Bala Maheswaran. "Fluid". Physics 1222 Lecture Notes. http://www.dac.neu.edu/physics/b.maheswaran/phy1222/fluids.pdf. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  9. ^ [1] [2]
  10. ^ Episode 124: Car vs. Rain. mythbustersfanclub.com. June 17, 2009
  11. ^ "Vapor Pressure of Water". Science Help Online for Chemistry. Fordham Preparatory School. http://www.fordhamprep.org/gcurran/sho/sho/reference/table74a.htm. Retrieved 11 November 2011. "2.6 kPa" 
  12. ^ Fletcher, N. H.; Tarnopolsky, A. (1999). "Blowing pressure, power, and spectrum in trumpet playing". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 105 (2): 874–881. doi:10.1121/1.426276. PMID 9972572. http://murphylibrary.uwlax.edu/digital/journals/JASA/JASA1999/pdfs/vol_105/iss_2/874_1.pdf.  edit
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  14. ^ "Which is the most intense tropical cyclone on record?". Hurricane Research Division Frequently Asked Questions. NOAA. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/E1.html. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Gershtein, Sergey; Anna Gershtein. "bar. Metric. Stress and Pressure Conversion Chart". http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/units/pressure/pressure.bar.en.html. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  16. ^ The Physics Factbook. Hypertextbook.com (2002-02-20). Retrieved on 2011-10-09.
  17. ^ Williams, David R. (2010-11-17). "Venus Fact Sheet". NASA. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/venusfact.html. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  18. ^ "Pressure Under High Heels". The Physics Factbook. http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/JackGreen.shtml. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  19. ^ For hydrogenolysis esters with copper chromite. Paquette, L.A. Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. Vol. 2, pp. 1337–1339. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1995.
  20. ^ The manufacture of polyethylene. nzic.org.nz
  21. ^ Fujihisa, Hiroshi; Akahama, Yuichi; Kawamura, Haruki; Ohishi, Yasuo; Shimomura, Osamu; Yamawaki, Hiroshi; Sakashita, Mami; Gotoh, Yoshito et al. (2006-08-26). "O8 Cluster Structure of the Epsilon Phase of Solid Oxygen". Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 (8): 085503. Bibcode 2006PhRvL..97h5503F. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.085503. PMID 17026315. 
  22. ^ http://www.eng.fsu.edu/~dommelen/quantum/style_a/cboxdp.html
  23. ^ azonano.com (2008). "Solid Oxygen ε-Phase Crystal Structure Determined Along With The Discovery of a Red Oxygen O8 Cluster". http://www.azonano.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1797. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  24. ^ Lee, C.; Wei, X.; Kysar, J. W.; Hone, J. (2008). "Measurement of the Elastic Properties and Intrinsic Strength of Monolayer Graphene". Science 321 (5887): 385–8. Bibcode 2008Sci...321..385L. doi:10.1126/science.1157996. PMID 18635798. 
  25. ^ Dziewonski, A. (1981). "Preliminary reference Earth model". Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 25 (4): 297–356. doi:10.1016/0031-9201(81)90046-7. http://www.gps.caltech.edu/uploads/File/People/dla/DLApepi81.pdf.  edit
  26. ^ Williams, David R. (September 1, 2004). "Sun Fact Sheet". NASA. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/sunfact.html. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  27. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=udHyAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA15&lpg=RA1-PA15&dq=pressure+inside+atomic+nucleus&source=bl&ots=D_3E7T6Fi3&sig=cNHFPBVQTx7HPSSMBWnFxoB_eeE&hl=en&ei=AvSRTvSmOMvb4QTWwZjLAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=pressure%20inside%20atomic%20nucleus&f=false
  28. ^ Neutron degeneracy pressure (Archive). Physics Forums. Retrieved on 2011-10-09.

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