A hydraulic press is used to lift heavy objects, such as cars. It consists of a U-tube, one end having large cross-sectional area A1; and the other, small cross-sectional area A2. The tube is filled with an incompressible fluid, and the load is placed on a platform fitted to area A1. (See figure.)
The object is lifted by applying a force to a piston fitted to area A2. If the piston moves down a distance Δx2, then the load moves up a distance Δx1. These distances are small compared to the other dimensions of the device. We assume losses due to friction are negligible.
If the force exerted by the piston is F2, what load can be lifted?