Comparing Volume and Surface AreaDate: 05/01/2002 at 12:13:58 From: Anonymous Subject: Volume vs. surface area Why is it that the surface area of a given rectangular solid can sometimes be greater than the volume of that solid? Date: 05/01/2002 at 13:09:40 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Volume vs. surface area Hi, You can't really compare area and volume, since they use different units. It's like asking why I am sometimes older than my weight, and sometimes younger! (It depends on whether you use pounds or tons.) You really can't say that 50 years is less than 160 pounds, and you can't say that 50 cubic meters is less than 160 square meters. Take a one-foot cube. Its volume is one cubic foot; its surface area is 6 square feet, which is numerically greater. But if I use inches, the volume is 12^3 = 1728 cubic inches, and its surface area is 6*12^2 = 864 square inches, which is numerically smaller. If one object has its area sometimes smaller and sometimes greater than its volume, depending only on the units I use, the comparison doesn't mean anything, does it? - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ Date: 05/03/2002 at 11:47:23 From: Anonymous Subject: Volume vs. surface area It makes sense the way you put it... Thank you! |
Search the Dr. Math Library: |
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
Ask Dr. Math^{TM}
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/