When we breathe, we expand the volume of our chest cavity, reducing the pressure on the outer surface of the lungs to less than 1 atm (Boyles law). Because of this pressure differential, the lungs expand, the pressure in them falls , and air from outside our lungs then flows into them. Extra-long snorkels do not work because of the pressure exerted by water at an increased depth.
Why is it impossible to breathe air through an extra-long snorkel (longer than a couple of meters) while swimming under water?
Frequently Asked Questions
What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?
Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Pressure Units concept. You can view video lessons to learn Pressure Units. Or if you need more Pressure Units practice, you can also practice Pressure Units practice problems.