What are the factors determining the pressure within an elastic container, such as a balloon filled with water? The pressure inside the balloon depends on (1) the volume of water, and (2) how easily the balloon walls can be stretched. If the walls are very stretchable, large quantities of water can be added with only a small rise in pressure. Conversely, the addition of a small quantity of water causes a large pressure rise in a balloon that is difficult to stretch. The term used to denote how easily a structure can be stretched is compliance:
Compliance = A volume/A pressure
The higher the compliance of a structure, the more easily it can be stretched.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.