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A prism has the same cross section all along its length !

A cross section is the shape you get when cutting straight across an object.

The cross section of this object is a triangle ... .. it has the same cross section all along its length ... ... and so it's a triangular prism.

Try drawing a shape on a piece of paper (using straight lines!), Then imagine it extending up from the sheet of paper, - that's a prism !

No Curves!
A prism is a polyhedron, which means the cross section will be a polygon (a straight-edged figure) ... so all sides will be flat! No curved sides. For example, a cylinder is not a prism, because it has curved sides.

These are all Prisms: Square Prism: Cross-Section: Cube: Cross-Section: (yes. a cube is a prism. because it is a square all along its length) (Also see Rectangular Prisms ) Triangular Prism: Cross-Section: Pentagonal Prism: Cross-Section: .

Regular and Irregular Prisms All the previous examples are Regular Prisms. and equal angles. because the cross section is regular (in other words it is a shape with equal edge lengths.) Here is an example of an Irregular Prism: Irregular Pentagonal Prism: Cross-Section (It is "irregular" because the Pentagon is not "regular"in shape) Volume of a Prism The Volume of a prism is simply the area of one end times the length of the prism Volume = Area × Length Example: What is the volume of a prism whose ends have an area of 25 in2 and which is 12 in long: Answer: Volume = 25 in2 × 12 in = 300 in3 (Note: we have an Area Calculation Tool) Other Things to Know .

Each face is a polygon (a flat shape with straight sides). to be a polyhedron there should be no curved surfaces.The sides of a prism are parallelograms (flat shapes that have opposites sides parallel). but the two ends are still parallel. So. Examples of Polyhedra: .meaning "many" and -edron meaning "face"). and the sides are still parallelograms! But if the two ends are not parallel it is not a prism. Polyhedrons A polyhedron is a solid with flat faces (from Greek poly. A prism can lean to one side. making it an oblique prism.

You can also see some Images of Polyhedra if you want. vertices (corner points).Triangular Prism Cube Dodecahedron Common Polyhedra Platonic Solids Prisms Pyramids Many More Explore 100s of Animated Polyhedron Models. you can discover an interesting thing: The number of faces plus the number of vertices minus the number of edges equals 2 This can be written neatly as a little equation: F+V-E=2 It is known as Euler's Formula (or the "Polyhedral Formula") and is very useful to make sure you have counted correctly! . Vertices and Edges If you count the number of faces (the flat surfaces). Counting Faces. and edges of a polyhedron.

Polygons A polygon is a plane shape with straight sides.E = 6+8-12 = 2 This prism has:    5 Faces 6 Vertices (corner points) 9 Edges F + V .E = 5+6-9 = 2 But there are cases where it does not work! Read Euler's Formula for more.Let's try some examples: This cube has:    6 Faces 8 Vertices (corner points) 12 Edges F + V . Polygon Not a Polygon Not a Polygon . and the shape is "closed" (all the lines connect up). Is it a Polygon? Polygons are 2-dimensional shapes. They are made of straight lines.

otherwise it is irregular . and it doesn't cross over itself. A complex polygon intersects itself! Many rules about polygons don't work when it is complex. then it is regular. (Think: concave has a "cave" in it) Convex Regular or Irregular Concave If all angles are equal and all sides are equal. If there are any internal angles greater than 180° then it is concave.(straight sides) (has a curve) (open. Types of Polygons Simple or Complex A simple polygon has only one boundary. Simple Polygon (this one's a Pentagon) Concave or Convex Complex Polygon (also a Pentagon) A convex polygon has no angles pointing inwards. More precisely.means "many" and -gon means "angle". no internal angles can be more than 180°. not closed) Polygon comes from Greek. Poly.

. Names of Polygons If it is a Regular Polygon.. Name Triangle (or Trigon) Sides 3 Shape Interior Angle 60° Quadrilateral (or Tetragon) 4 90° . make them concave. a pentagram) Concave Octagon Irregular Hexagon Play With Them! Try Interactive Polygons ... in this case. complex or regular.Regular Irregular More Examples Complex Polygon (a "star polygon".

571° Octagon 8 135° Nonagon (or Enneagon) 9 140° Decagon 10 144° Hendecagon (or Undecagon) 11 147.286° 156° 157.5° 158.273° Dodecagon Triskaidecagon Tetrakaidecagon Pentadecagon Hexakaidecagon Heptadecagon Octakaidecagon Enneadecagon Icosagon Triacontagon Tetracontagon 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 30 40 150° 152.308° 154.Pentagon 5 108° Hexagon 6 120° Heptagon (or Septagon) 7 128.053° 162° 168° 171° .824° 160° 161.

857° 175. "14-gon" .64° 179.8° 174° 174.964° ~180° ~180° (n-2) × 180° / n For polygons with 13 or more sides.000 1.5° 176° 176.Pentacontagon Hexacontagon Heptacontagon Octacontagon Enneacontagon Hectagon Chiliagon Myriagon Megagon Googolgon n-gon 50 60 70 80 90 100 1. .000. "100-gon"... etc.000 10. it is OK (and easier) to write "13-gon".000 10100 n 172.4° 179.