# Volume of a Prism - Formula, Derivation, Definition, Examples

A prism is a vital shape in geometry. The shape’s name is derived from the fact that it is created by considering a polygonal base and extending its sides till it cross the opposite base.

This blog post will discuss what a prism is, its definition, different kinds, and the formulas for surface areas and volumes. We will also provide instances of how to employ the data provided.

## What Is a Prism?

A prism is a three-dimensional geometric shape with two congruent and parallel faces, well-known as bases, which take the shape of a plane figure. The additional faces are rectangles, and their amount depends on how many sides the identical base has. For instance, if the bases are triangular, the prism would have three sides. If the bases are pentagons, there would be five sides.

### Definition

The properties of a prism are astonishing. The base and top both have an edge in parallel with the other two sides, making them congruent to one another as well! This implies that all three dimensions - length and width in front and depth to the back - can be deconstructed into these four parts:

A lateral face (signifying both height AND depth)

Two parallel planes which make up each base

An fictitious line standing upright across any provided point on any side of this shape's core/midline—usually known collectively as an axis of symmetry

Two vertices (the plural of vertex) where any three planes join

### Kinds of Prisms

There are three main kinds of prisms:

Rectangular prism

Triangular prism

Pentagonal prism

The rectangular prism is a regular type of prism. It has six faces that are all rectangles. It matches the looks of a box.

The triangular prism has two triangular bases and three rectangular faces.

The pentagonal prism consists of two pentagonal bases and five rectangular sides. It looks a lot like a triangular prism, but the pentagonal shape of the base stands out.

## The Formula for the Volume of a Prism

Volume is a calculation of the total amount of area that an object occupies. As an crucial shape in geometry, the volume of a prism is very relevant in your learning.

The formula for the volume of a rectangular prism is V=B*h, where,

V = Volume

B = Base area

h= Height

Consequently, considering bases can have all types of figures, you will need to learn few formulas to figure out the surface area of the base. Still, we will touch upon that later.

### The Derivation of the Formula

To extract the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism, we are required to look at a cube. A cube is a three-dimensional object with six faces that are all squares. The formula for the volume of a cube is V=s^3, where,

V = Volume

s = Side length

Right away, we will get a slice out of our cube that is h units thick. This slice will create a rectangular prism. The volume of this rectangular prism is B*h. The B in the formula stands for the base area of the rectangle. The h in the formula implies the height, which is how dense our slice was.

Now that we have a formula for the volume of a rectangular prism, we can generalize it to any type of prism.

### Examples of How to Utilize the Formula

Now that we understand the formulas for the volume of a pentagonal prism, triangular prism, and rectangular prism, let’s put them to use.

First, let’s calculate the volume of a rectangular prism with a base area of 36 square inches and a height of 12 inches.

V=B*h

V=36*12

V=432 square inches

Now, let’s work on another question, let’s calculate the volume of a triangular prism with a base area of 30 square inches and a height of 15 inches.

V=Bh

V=30*15

V=450 cubic inches

Provided that you have the surface area and height, you will figure out the volume without any issue.

## The Surface Area of a Prism

Now, let’s talk regarding the surface area. The surface area of an object is the measure of the total area that the object’s surface consist of. It is an essential part of the formula; thus, we must know how to find it.

There are a several different methods to work out the surface area of a prism. To calculate the surface area of a rectangular prism, you can employ this: A=2(lb + bh + lh), assuming,

l = Length of the rectangular prism

b = Breadth of the rectangular prism

h = Height of the rectangular prism

To calculate the surface area of a triangular prism, we will use this formula:

SA=(S1+S2+S3)L+bh

assuming,

b = The bottom edge of the base triangle,

h = height of said triangle,

l = length of the prism

S1, S2, and S3 = The three sides of the base triangle

bh = the total area of the two triangles, or [2 × (1/2 × bh)] = bh

We can also use SA = (Perimeter of the base × Length of the prism) + (2 × Base area)

### Example for Computing the Surface Area of a Rectangular Prism

First, we will figure out the total surface area of a rectangular prism with the following information.

l=8 in

b=5 in

h=7 in

To solve this, we will replace these numbers into the respective formula as follows:

SA = 2(lb + bh + lh)

SA = 2(8*5 + 5*7 + 8*7)

SA = 2(40 + 35 + 56)

SA = 2 × 131

SA = 262 square inches

### Example for Finding the Surface Area of a Triangular Prism

To find the surface area of a triangular prism, we will figure out the total surface area by following similar steps as before.

This prism will have a base area of 60 square inches, a base perimeter of 40 inches, and a length of 7 inches. Thus,

SA=(Perimeter of the base × Length of the prism) + (2 × Base Area)

Or,

SA = (40*7) + (2*60)

SA = 400 square inches

With this data, you will be able to work out any prism’s volume and surface area. Test it out for yourself and observe how simple it is!

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