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While cooking dinner under an extractor on its lowest setting, I noticed that none of the steam (referenced by the amount of fogging on a nearby window, compared to the absence of the fan, was effectively zero) was going anywhere else but through it.

However, placing my hand under the hood, I couldn't feel a difference in pressure. This is most likely due to two things: my hand smoothly transitioned from "normal" atmospheric pressure to the "adjusted" pressure near the hood, and the hood area is quite wide, so that extraction is done over the significant area not covered by my hand and hence less pressure applied.

But it got me thinking, and a literature check revealed nothing helpful so far, as to what is the smallest pressure differential detectable by the skin of the human body?

I would prefer to exclude anything related to hearing, as this is a well-researched area but tells us nothing about the other 99.9% of what is directly exposed to atmospheric pressure changes. Answers that cover particular parts of the body beyond skin and ears (for example, the eyes) are appreciated but only additional.

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  • $\begingroup$ You should try Space.SE. You may get a better answer there. $\endgroup$ – Muze Apr 21 at 4:53

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