Lock is a term whose etymological origin is found in the Latin word exclude. This word was used with reference to the Water (aqua) to refer to “Water excluded”.

Currently the concept is used to name different types of infrastructure. It is usually used to name the compartment that allows the passage of a boat from one level to another in a navigation channel.


The locks are compartments that are part of navigation channels.

How a navigation lock works

The navigation locks they are filled or emptied of water according to the need. This is possible since they have exit and entrance doors. The changes make a boat be in a position to save a slope.

The lock works as a kind of lift or elevator. When a boat enters, the water rises or falls until it reaches the same level as in the destiny. Only then can the ship advance.

The case of the Panama canal

The Panama Canal, inaugurated in 1914, is a colossal work of engineering that unites the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean and whose operation is based on three sets of locks. In total it spans about 80 kilometers, a section that ships usually cross in ten hours.

Each lock has a capacity of 114,000 cubic meters. Once a ship is in the first chamber, the first rear lock is closed, while the front lock remains closed. With the ship already enclosed, the water level is modified to achieve leveling and then the lock that is located in the bow.

Engineering work

The Panama Canal includes three sets of locks.

In the case of a ship entering through the Atlantic Ocean, access the Panama Canal by Gatun locks and go up three bedrooms until arriving at the Gatun lake. After touring this lake artificial reaches the Culebra cut and begins to fall into Pedro Miguel locks to go down a step and reach the Miraflores lake. Once at the lake, cross the Miraflores locks and finally go down to Pacific Ocean.

The airlock

The air locks They are mechanisms that make it possible for objects and gases to pass from a pressure vessel to the environment or vice versa. To promote this, they are responsible for modifying the Pressure of the container.

This type of lock consists of a camera with a pair of watertight doors, which do not open simultaneously. Before opening these doors, it is necessary to equalize the air pressure inside the lock with the surroundings.

The submarines, the spaceships and the reactors nuclear it has air locks. It is important to bear in mind that this resource makes an environment habitable or protected.

Confusion with the lock

It should be noted that lock is written with S after the AND. The term lock, which is sometimes used by error to refer to the compartments mentioned, it refers to something different.

Exclusa is the irregular participle of the verb Exclude and it also used to be used as adjective, although its use is no longer common. The concept had a meaning associated with rejection Yet the exclusion.