In science, buoyancy force [buoyancy] is one of the greatest discoveries ever made. It is an upward force exerted by a fluid when an object is placed in it making it float or rise easily. This is a discovery that was made by the legendary ancient scientist Archimedes of Syracuse in 212 B.C. He came up with the principle commonly known as the Archimedes’ principle that states; “Any object wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object”.
The buoyancy force is the incredible force that holds ships up on the surface of water regardless of their size and weight. It is the same force that when an object falls in water; it will move or be displaced regardless of its weight. Buoyancy force can be seen when a cork is pushed down into water in a jug. The cork will rise on its own and come back to the surface.
Another example is when you are swimming; you will float on water as there is an upward force that is exerted on your body water. Amusingly, you can lift a heavier stone more comfortably under water than when you could in air. This is because of the upward force of water that helps reduce your efforts.
From the aforementioned examples, it is clear that the buoyancy force is created or affected by a number of different factors and when one of the factors is altered, a different level of buoyancy will take place. These factors include;
- Water pressure
The water has weight and the more you go deep below the surface, the more water there is above you and the more the water weighs. The more deep you go the greater the weight of the water will be and it will exert more weight on you. This means that the water will push you upward. Evidently, putting an object at varying depth exposes the object to buoyancy force.
The nature of the buoyant is also determined by the shape of an object. This is because; buoyancy force depends on the pressure on the object that has been submerged. Varying areas of the object will result to different buoyancy force. For instance, if the bottom of an object is broad, there is a large area for the water pressure to push on; hence there is more buoyancy force.
The density of the submerged object also determines the nature of buoyancy force. If an object is less dense or light than water, then the buoyancy force will push it up. Whereas if the object is denser than water, the buoyancy force does not make it light enough to float and it will then sink increasing the buoyancy force on it as it goes deeper.
Understanding the buoyancy is quite significant not only in the scientific world, but for our day to day survival and learning. It is amusing how buoyancy works. Imagine a world without ships, ferries, yachts or boats. For many, buoyancy force may be unbelievable, but the Archimedes principle simplifies things and makes the whole discovery interesting.
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