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**GEOMETRY AND CALCULUS: A SURPRISING CONNECTION
**

CALCULUS | PACKER COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE

Volume of a sphere, for a given radius:

V(r) = ______________________

Surface area of a sphere, for a given radius:

SA(r) = ______________________

**Mr. Shah looks at these formulae. “Wait. WAIT. HECK NO. IS IT?
**

YES? NO. WAY. IT IS.” What did Mr. Shah just notice?

Does it still hold for a circle?

Area of a circle, for a given radius:

A(r) = ______________________

Circumference of a circle, for a given radius:

C(r) = ______________________

Ok. Okay. Kay. K.

SPHERE: Let’s explore the sphere to see what’s going on first.

Now let’s think of a dumdum. As we enjoy the dumdum, the radius changes. We’re

**Draw a quick diagram of the dumdum at a certain point in time (pretend it’s a perfect
**

sphere), and then after a couple minutes. Make sure your dumdum looks 3D! Draw that

dashed ring like above to show this!

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First, let’s label the diagram together so we’re all using the same variables.

How much of the dumdum did we eat? _________________________________

**Let’s keep things simple and give your answer using the volume function V(blah) :
**

___________________

**To help with this, let’s instead think of the dumdum as a made of clay and we’ve
**

removed a layer from the outside. We carefully flatten the removed the layer until it

looks like this.

The height of the layer is: _____________

**The approximate area of the base is (think
**

conceptually…):

____________________________

**So the volume of this layer we removed is
**

approximately: ____________________________

**Now we have two equations for the volume. Let’s set them approximately equal to each
**

other and see what happens… Rearrange them, with CALCULUS in mind.

CIRCLE: Let’s see if you can do a similar argument with a circle!

**Like with did with the dumdum, imagine a disk. With the dumdum we removed an outer
**

layer with a tiny thickness . With the disk, what should we remove? Draw a diagram.

Label it with the same variables we did above ( r and h )

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What is the area of the layer that we removed, written using the area formula A(blah) :

___________________

Let’s flatten out this layer, like we did before with the dumdum. It’s not a volume, but an

area!

**The height of the layer is:
**

_____________

**The approximate length of the layer
**

is (think conceptually…):

____________________________

**So the area of this layer we removed
**

is approximately:

____________________________

**Again, similar to above, we have two equations for the area. Let’s set them
**

approximately equal to each other and see what happens… Rearrange them, with

CALCULUS in mind.

Conclusions:

**For a sphere: the derivative of the __________________ gives you the
**

_______________________.

**For a circle: the derivative of the __________________ gives you the
**

_______________________.

**We looked just at a single layer/ring to
**

see the algebra work out. Let’s see it all

fit together geometrically for a circle, by

looking at all the rings together.

**First, we’ll envision the circle as a bunch
**

of rings of small width.

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Each ring has a circumference based on the radius of the ring. Each ring has a tiny width.

[diagrams from www.betterexplained.com]

**And now, let’s unroll the rings and stack them next to each
**

other vertically…

**Each ring’s height (when made vertical) is the
**

circumference of the ring. They go from tiiiiny to large.

Each rings width is tiny.

**But when we put them all together in this form, we see we
**

get something that looks approximately like what

geometric figure?

**Let’s find the approximate area of this geometric figure!
**

______________

**Big picture: A circle can be see as a bunch of tiny rings (almost a circumference, but with
**

a tiny width) added together. And so we can find the area of this circle by adding these

tiny rings together.

Can You Take it Further?

Okay. So based on what we’ve seen, make a conjecture:

For a cube: the derivative of the volume gives you the _______________________.

For a square: the derivative of the area gives you the _______________________.

Let’s see if this works!

The volume of a cube with side length s is: V(s) = __________________

The derivative is: ________________________. Does this match your conjecture?

The area of a square with side length s is: A(s) = __________________

The derivative is: ________________________. Does this match your conjecture?

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