Syringes showing how a hydraulic machine works

Syringes showing how a hydraulic machine works

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Experiment: To show how a hydraulic Machine increases force

Aim: To show how a hydraulic machine increases force

Materials:  small syringe, syringe with larger diameter, plastic tube, water, ruler


  1. Half fill the large syringe with water by placing the end in water and pulling the plunger upwards
  2. Attache the tube to the smaller syringe and fill the tube and small syringe with water
  3. Push the plunger on the smaller syringe so that half the water in the syringe  is pushed through the tube
  4. Attache the other end of the tube to the larger syringe
  5. Hold the syringes as shown in the diagram above
  6. Push and pull the plunger on each syringe in turn
  7. Measure the distance moved by each plunger when a force is applied

Observation and Results

  • The smaller syringe is easier to move
  • The smaller plunger moves the greatest distance
  • The smaller syringe has might move 5 cm in order to raise the larger syringe’s plunger 1 cm


  • Hydraulic machines make work easier by exploiting the principles of liquids
  • Such as:
  • That they cannot be easily compressed
  • That they can pass on pressure applied to them equally and in all directions

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page