Definitions

The lateral area of a three-dimensional shape is the sum of the areas of the lateral faces.  The surface area of a three-dimensional shape is the sum of the areas of all of the faces of the solid.  It is like the amount of wrapping paper it takes to wrap the solid without having the paper overlap.  The area of 2-dimensional shapes will be used regularly when finding the surface area of solids and continues to be represented by square units.  The drawing below demonstrates the square units of three of the visible faces of a prism, remember there are three other faces that are not visible.  All six faces must be counted to get the total surface area of this prism.

In the previous book, you learned about the net of each of the 5 geometric solids.  Visualizing the net of a solid helps to determine the surface area.  Since each solid is made up of different shapes, the surface area formula is different for each solid.  This book will go into detail about the surface area formulas for right regular prisms, right cylinders, right regular pyramids, right cones and spheres.

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