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(Math | Geometry | Surface Area Formulas)

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Surface Area Formulas

Search In general, the surface area is the sum of all the areas of all the shapes

that cover the surface of the object.

Custom Search

Note: "ab" means "a" multiplied by "b". "a 2" means "a squared", which is the

same as "a" times "a".

34

Be careful!! Units count. Use the same units for all measurements. Examples

In words, the surface area of a cube is the area of the six squares that

cover it. The area of one of them is a*a, or a 2 . Since these are all the

same, you can multiply one of them by six, so the surface area of a cube

is 6 times one of the sides squared.

In words, the surface area of a rectangular prism is the area of the six

rectangles that cover it. But we don't have to figure out all six because we

know that the top and bottom are the same, the front and back are the

same, and the left and right sides are the same.

The area of the top and bottom (side lengths a and c) = a*c. Since there

are two of them, you get 2ac. The front and back have side lengths of b

and c. The area of one of them is b*c, and there are two of them, so the

surface area of those two is 2bc. The left and right side have side lengths

of a and b, so the surface area of one of them is a*b. Again, there are two

of them, so their combined surface area is 2ab.

www.math.com/tables/geometry/surfareas.htm 1/3

1/11/13 Surface Area Formulas

(r is radius of circle)

In words, the easiest way is to think of a can. The surface area is the

areas of all the parts needed to cover the can. That's the top, the bottom,

and the paper label that wraps around the middle.

You can find the area of the top (or the bottom). That's the formula for

area of a circle (pi r2). Since there is both a top and a bottom, that gets

multiplied by two.

The side is like the label of the can. If you peel it off and lay it flat it will be

a rectangle. The area of a rectangle is the product of the two sides. One

side is the height of the can, the other side is the perimeter of the circle,

since the label wraps once around the can. So the area of the rectangle

is (2 pi r)* h.

Add those two parts together and you have the formula for the surface

area of a cylinder.

These equations will give you correct answers if you keep the units

straight. For example - to find the surface area of a cube with sides of 5

inches, the equation is:

www.math.com/tables/geometry/surfareas.htm 2/3

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