Learning how to work out volume of a prism can be very important for all sorts of applications – mainly in manufacturing and transportation.
A ‘prism’ is a shape with a constant cross section, such as a cardboard box. It basically means that if you cut the prism in half the shape will be the same in the middle:
To work out the volume of the prism:
- sometimes this is given to you, particularly if the shape is fairly complicated
- if its not given you should be able to calculate – although it’s a good idea to draw a sketch of the cross section to make your working easier
- some exam questions might require a cross section to be calculated in stages
- ..and then multiply by the length
A fairly typical exam question would be either to calculate the volume directly.. or a more practical example, such as:
“A light bulb box measures 6cm x 6cm x 10cm.
The light bulbs are packed into cartons which measure 36cm x 36cm x 80cm.
Calculate the number of light bulb boxes that completely fill one carton.”
To answer the question you’ll need to work out –
- the volume of the carton
- the volume of the light box
- divide the carton volume by the light bulb box volume
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