Explore the Science: Pumps and Pressure

In the Rough Science programme ‘Beneath the Waves’, Rough Scientists Jonathan and Kathy are given the task of building an air pump that presenter Kate can use to breathe underwater. It’s not just a question of pumping the air down to Kate – the air has to be at the same pressure as the water surrounding her so that her lungs aren’t crushed by the water pressure or over inflated by the pressure of the air pumped down to her. This extract from the second level OU course The Physical World (S207) explains how pressure can be a problem for a diver.

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