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Angles

An angle measures the amount of turn

Names of Angles
As the Angle Increases, the Name Changes
Type of
Description
Angle
Acute Angle an angle that is less than 90°
Right Angle an angle that is 90° exactly
an angle that is greater than 90°
Obtuse Angle
but less than 180°
Straight Angle an angle that is 180° exactly

And this is a Reflex

This is an Obtuse Angle.
Angle.

But the lines are the same ... so when naming the angles
make sure
that you know which angle is being asked for!
Parts of an Angle
The corner point of an angle is called the vertex
And the two straight sides are called arms
The angle is the amount of turn between each
arm.

Labelling Angles
There are two main ways to label angles:
1. by giving the angle a name, usually a lower-
case letter like a or b, or sometimes a Greek
letter like α (alpha) or θ (theta)
2. or by the three letters on the shape that
define the angle, with the middle letter being
where the angle actually is (its vertex).
Example angle "a" is "BAC", and angle "θ" is
"BCD"

Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Equilateral, Isosceles and Scalene

There are three special names given to triangles that tell how many sides (or
angles) are equal.

There can be 3, 2 or no equal sides/angles:

Equilateral Triangle
Three equal sides
Three equal angles,
always 60°

Isosceles Triangle
Two equal sides
Two equal angles
Scalene Triangle
No equal sides
No equal angles

Triangles can also have names that tell you what type of angle is inside:

Acute Triangle
All angles are less than
90°

Right Triangle
Has a right angle (90°)

Obtuse Triangle
Has an angle more than
90°

Tetrahedron

The tetrahedron also has a beautiful and unique

property ...
all four vertices are the same distance from each other!
(thanks Ganesh)
And it is the only Platonic Solid with no parallel faces.

Tetrahedron

Notice these interesting things:

It has 4 Faces
Each face has 3 edges, and is actually an Equilateral Triangle
It has 6 Edges
It has 4 Vertices (corner points)
and at each vertex 3 edges meet

And for reference:

Surface Area = √3 × (Edge Length)2
Volume = (√2)/12 × (Edge Length)3
Cube (Hexahedron)
Cube (Hexahedron) Facts
Notice these interesting things:
It has 6 Faces
Each face has 4 edges, and is
actually a square
It has 12 Edges
It has 8 Vertices (corner points)
and at each vertex 3 edges meet

And for reference:

Surface Area = 6 × (Edge Length)2
Volume = (Edge Length)3

Octahedron
Octahedron Facts
Notice these interesting
things:
It has 8 Faces
Each face has 3
edges, and is actually
an Equilateral Triangle
It has 12 Edges
It has 6 Vertices
(corner points)
and at each vertex 4
edges meet

And for reference:

Surface Area = 2 × √3
× (Edge Length)2
Volume = (√2)/3 ×
(Edge Length)3
Dodecahedron
Dodecahedron Facts
Notice these interesting
things:
It has 12 Faces
Each face has 5 edges, and
is actually a pentagon
It has 30 Edges
It has 20 Vertices (corner
points)
and at each vertex 3 edges
meet
Icosahedron
And for reference:
Surface Area =
3×√(25+10×√5) × (Edge
Length)2
Volume = (15+7×√5)/4 ×
(Edge Length)3

Icosahedron Facts
Notice these interesting
things:
It has 20 Faces
Each face has 3 edges, and
is actually an Equilateral
Triangle
It has 30 Edges
It has 12 Vertices (corner
points)
and at each vertex 5 edges
meet

And for reference:

Surface Area = 5×√3 ×
(Edge Length)2
Volume = 5×(3+√5)/12 ×
(Edge Length)3

Prisms
A prism has the same cross section all along its length !
A cross section is the shape you get when cutting straight across an object.
The cross section of this object is a triangle ...
.. it has the same cross section all along its length ...
... and so it's a triangular prism.

Try drawing a shape on a piece of paper

(using straight lines!),
Then imagine it extending up from the sheet
of paper,
- that's a prism !

No Curves!
A prism is a polyhedron, which means the cross section will be a
polygon (a straight-edged figure) ... so all sides will be flat!
No curved sides.
For example, a cylinder is not a prism, because it has curved
sides.

Square Prism: Cross-Section:

Cube: Cross-Section:

(yes, a cube is a prism, because it is a

square
all along its length)

Regular and Irregular Prisms

All the previous examples are Regular Prisms, because the cross section is regular
(in other words it is a shape with equal edge lengths)

Here is an example of an Irregular Prism:

Irregular Pentagonal
Cross-Section:
Prism:
(It is "irregular" because the
Pentagon is not "regular"in shape)
Volume of a Prism
The Volume of a prism is simply the area of one end times the length of the prism
Volume = Area × Length
Example: What is the volume of a prism
whose ends are 25 in2 and which is 12 in
long:
Answer: Volume = 25 in2 × 12 in = 300
in3

(Note: we have an Area Calculation

Tool)

Pyramids
When we think of pyramids we
think of the Great Pyramids of
Egypt.
They are actually Square
Pyramids, because their base is
a Square.

Parts of a Pyramid
A pyramid is made by connecting a base to
an apex
Types of Pyramids
There are many types of Pyramids, and they are named after the shape of their
base.
Pyramid Base

Triangul
ar Details
Pyramid >>
:

Square
Details
Pyramid
>>
:

Pentago
nal Details
Pyramid >>
:

... and so on ...

Right vs Oblique Pyramid
This tells you where the top (apex) of the pyramid is. If the apex is directly above
the center of the base, then it is a Right Pyramid, otherwise it is an Oblique
Pyramid.

Right Pyramid Oblique Pyramid

Regular vs Irregular Pyramid
This tells us about the shape of the base. If the base is a regular polygon, then it
is a Regular Pyramid, otherwise it is an Irregular Pyramid.

Area and Volume

The Volume of a Pyramid

• 1/3 × [Base Area] × Height
The Surface Area of a Pyramid
When all side faces are the same:
• [Base Area] + 1/2 × Perimeter
× [Slant Length]
When side faces are different:
• [Base Area] + [Lateral Area]
Notes On Surface Area
The Surface Area has two parts: the area of the base (the Base Area), and
the area of the side faces (the Lateral Area).
For Base Area :
It depends on the shape, there are different formulas for triangle, square,
etc. See Area for formulas, or our Area Calculation Tool
For Lateral Area :
When all the side faces are the same:
• Just multiply the perimeter by the "slant length" and divide by 2. This
is because the side faces are always triangles and the triangle formula
is "base times height divided by 2"
But if the side faces are different (such as an "irregular" pyramid) then add
up the area of each triangular shape to find the total lateral area.

Sphere Facts
Notice these interesting things:
It is perfectly symmetrical
It has no edges or vertices (corners)
It is not a polyhedron
All points on the surface are the same
distance from the center

And for reference:

Surface Area = 4 × π × r2 Glass Sphere.
Volume = (4/3) × π × r3
Balls and marbles are shaped like spheres.

Largest Volume for Smallest Surface

Of all the shapes, a sphere has the smallest surface area for a volume. Or put another way it can
contain the greatest volume for a fixed surface area.
Example: if you blow up a balloon it naturally forms a sphere because it is trying to hold as
much air as possible with as small a surface as possible. Press the Play button to see.

In Nature
The sphere appears in nature whenever a surface wants to be as small as possible. Examples
include bubbles and water drops, can you think of more?

The Earth
The Planet Earth,
our home, is nearly
a sphere, except that
it is squashed a little It is a spheroid, which means it just misses out
at the poles. on being a sphere because it isn't perfect in one
direction (in the Earth's case: North-South)

Other Cool Spheres

Torus
Torus Facts
Notice these interesting things:
It can be made by revolving a small
circle along a line made by another
circle.
It has no edges or vertices
It is not a polyhedron

And for reference:

Surface Area = 4 × π2 × R × r
Volume = 2 × π2 × R × r2
Note: Area and volume formulas
only work when the torus has a
hole!
Torus in the Sky. The Torus is such a
And did you beautiful solid, this one would be fun at the
know that Torus beach !
was the Latin
word for a
cushion? Note: If you have more than one torus
(This is not a they are called tori
real roman
cushion, just an
illustration I

More Torus Images

As the small radius (r) gets larger and larger, the torus goes from looking like a Tire
to a Donut:
Cylinder
Cylinder Facts
Notice these interesting things:
It has a flat base and a flat top
The base is the same as the top, and also in-between
It has one curved side
Because it has a curved surface it is not a polyhedron.

And for reference:

Surface Area = 2 × π × r × (r+h)
• Surface Area of One End = π × r2
• Surface Area of Side = 2 × π × r × h
Volume = π × r2 × h
Instructions: In "spin" mode it freely spins
and will respond to your mouse. In "drag" mode it
stops spinning and you can use your mouse to
move it.

An object shaped like a cylinder is said to be

cylindrical

Volume of a Cylinder
Just multiply the area of the circle by the height
of the cylinder:
• Area of the circle: π × r2
• Height: h
• Volume = Area × Height = π × r2 × h
There is an easy way to remember:
Imagine you just cooked a pizza.
The radius is "z", and the thickness "a" is the same
everywhere ... what is the volume?
Answer: pi × z × z × a
(we would normally write "pi" as π, and z × z as z2,
but you get the idea!)
It Doesn't Have to Be Circular
Usually when we say Cylinder we mean a Circular
Cylinder, but you can also have Elliptical Cylinders,
like this one:

You can even have stranger cylinders: if the cross-

section is curved and is the same from one end to the
other, then it will still be a cylinder.

More Cylinders
Cone Facts
Notice these
interesting things:
It has a flat base Cone
It has one curved
side
Because it has a
curved surface it is
not a polyhedron.

And for reference:

• The pointy end of a cone is
Surface Area of Base
= π × r2 called the vertex or apex
• The flat part is the base
Surface Area of Side
=π×r×s • An object shaped like a
o Surface Area of Side cone is said to be conical
r = π × r × √(r2+h2)

Volume = π × r2 ×
(h/3)

A Cone is a Rotated Triangle

A cone is made by rotating a triangle!
The triangle has to be a right-angled triangle, and it gets rotated
around one of its two short sides.
The side it rotates around is the axis of the cone.
Volume of a Cone vs Cylinder
The volume formulas for cones and cylinders are very similar:
The volume of a cylinder is: π × r2 × h
The volume of a cone is: π × r2 × (h/3)
So, the only difference is that a cone's volume is one third (1/3) of a cylinder's.
So, in future, order your ice creams in cylinders, not cones, you get 3 times more!
Different Shaped Cones
Polygons

(quad means four, lateral means side).
Any four-sided shape is a
But the sides have to be straight, and it
has to be 2-dimensional.

(You can also play with Interactive Quadrilaterals)

Properties
• Four sides (or edges)
• Four vertices (or corners).
• The interior angles add up to 360 degrees:

Try drawing a quadrilateral, and measure the angles. They should add to 360°
There are special types of quadrilateral:

Some types are also included in the definition of other types! For example a square, rhombus
and rectangle are also parallelograms. See below for more details.
Let us look at each type in turn:

The Rectangle
means "right
angle"
show equal sides
and

A rectangle is a four-sided shape where every angle is a right angle (90°).

Also opposite sides are parallel and of equal length.
The Rhombus
A rhombus is a four-sided shape where all sides have equal length.
Also opposite sides are parallel and opposite angles are equal.
Another interesting thing is that the diagonals (dashed lines in second figure) of a rhombus bisect
each other at right angles.

The Square
means "right
angle"
show equal sides

A square has equal sides and every angle is a right angle (90°)
Also opposite sides are parallel.
A square also fits the definition of a rectangle (all angles are 90°), and a rhombus (all sides are
equal length).
The Parallelogram

Opposite sides are parallel and equal in length, and opposite angles are equal (angles "a" are the
same, and angles "b" are the same)
NOTE: Squares, Rectangles and Rhombuses are all Parallelograms!
Example:
A parallelogram with:
• all sides equal and
• angles "a" and "b" as right angles
is a square!
The Trapezoid (UK: Trapezium)
Trapezoid Isosceles Trapezoid
A trapezoid (called a trapezium in the UK) has one pair of opposite sides parallel.
It is called an Isosceles trapezoid if the sides that aren't parallel are equal in length and both
angles coming from a parallel side are equal, as shown.
Language Note: In the US a "trapezium" is a quadrilateral with NO parallel sides!
The Kite

Hey, it looks like a kite. It has two pairs of sides. Each pair is made up of adjacent sides that are
equal in length. The angles are equal where the pairs meet. Diagonals (dashed lines) meet at a
right angle, and one of the diagonal bisects (cuts equally in half) the other.
... and that's it for the special quadrilaterals.
The only regular quadrilateral is a square. So all other quadrilaterals are irregular.

The "Family Tree" Chart

Example: a square is also a rectangle.
So we include a square in the definition of a rectangle.
(We don't say "A rectangle has all 90° angles, except if it is a square")
This may seem odd because in daily life we think of a square as not being a rectangle ... but in
mathematics it is.
Using the chart below you can answer such questions as:
• Is a Square a type of Rectangle? (Yes)
• Is a Rectangle a type of Kite? (No)
Oh Yes! when two sides cross over, you call it a "Complex" or "Self-Intersecting" quadrilateral
like these:

They still have 4 sides, but two sides cross over.

Polygon
A quadrilateral is a polygon. In fact it is a 4-sided polygon, just like a triangle is a 3-sided
polygon, a pentagon is a 5-sided polygon, and so on.
Play with Them
Now that you know the different types, you can play with the Interactive Quadrilaterals.
Other Names
A quadrilateral can sometimes be called:
• a Quadrangle ("four angles"), so it sounds like "triangle"
• a Tetragon ("four and polygon"), so it sounds like "pentagon", "hexagon",
etc.
Polygons
A polygon is a plane shape with straight sides.
Is it a Polygon?
Polygons are 2-dimensional shapes. They are made of straight lines, and the shape is "closed"
(all the lines connect up).

Polygon Not a Polygon Not a Polygon

(straight sides) (has a curve) (open, not closed)
Polygon comes from Greek. Poly- means "many" and -gon means "angle".
Types of Polygons
Simple or Complex
A simple polygon has only one boundary, and it doesn't cross over itself. A complex polygon
intersects itself!

Simple Polygon Complex Polygon

(this one's a Pentagon) (also a Pentagon)
Concave or Convex
A convex polygon has no angles pointing inwards. More precisely, no internal angles can be
more than 180°.
If there are any internal angles greater than 180° then it is concave. (Think: concave has a
"cave" in it)

Convex Concave
Regular or Irregular
If all angles are equal and all sides are equal, then it is regular, otherwise it is irregular
Regular Irregular
More Examples

Complex Polygon
(a "star polygon", in Concave Octagon Irregular Hexagon
this case, a pentagram)

Names of Polygons
If it is a Regular Polygon...
Name Sides Shape Interior Angle

Pentagon 5 108°

Hexagon 6 120°

Octagon 8 135°

Nonagon (or Enneagon) 9 140°

Decagon 10 144°
Hendecagon (or Undecagon) 11 147.273°

Dodecagon 12 150°

Triskaidecagon 13 152.308°
Tetrakaidecagon 14 154.286°
Hexakaidecagon 16 157.5°
Octakaidecagon 18 160°
Icosagon 20 162°
Triacontagon 30 168°
Tetracontagon 40 171°
Pentacontagon 50 172.8°
Hexacontagon 60 174°
Heptacontagon 70 174.857°
Octacontagon 80 175.5°
Enneacontagon 90 176°
Hectagon 100 176.4°
Chiliagon 1,000 179.64°
Myriagon 10,000 179.964°
Megagon 1,000,000 ~180°
Googolgon 10100 ~180°

For polygons with 13 or more sides, it is OK (and easier) to write "13-

gon", "14-gon" ... "100-gon", etc.

Polygons
A polygon is a closed figure made by connecting line segments, where each line segment end
connects to only one end of two other line segments.
The following are examples of polygons:

The figure is not a polygon, since it is not a closed figure:

The figure below is not a polygon, since it is not made of
line
segments:

The figure below is not a polygon, since its sides do

not intersect in exactly two places each:

Regular Polygon
A regular polygon is a polygon whose sides are all the same length, and whose angles are all the
same. The sum of the angles of a polygon with n sides, where n is 3 or more, is 180° × (n - 2)
degrees.
The following are examples of regular polygons:

:
The following are not examples of regular polygons:

Triangle
A three-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees.

Equilateral Triangle or Equiangular Triangle

A triangle having all three sides of equal length. The angles of an equilateral triangle all measure
60 degrees.
Isosceles Triangle
A triangle having two sides of equal length.

Scalene Triangle
A triangle having three sides of different lengths.

Acute Triangle
A triangle having three acute angles.

Obtuse Triangle
A triangle having an obtuse angle. One of the angles of the triangle measures more than 90
degrees.

Right Triangle
A triangle having a right angle. One of the angles of the triangle measures 90 degrees. The side
opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse. The two sides that form the right angle are
called the legs. A right triangle has the special property that the sum of the squares of the lengths
of the legs equals the square of the length of the hypotenuse. This is known as the Pythagorean
Theorem.

Example:

For the right triangle above, the lengths of the legs are A and B, and the hypotenuse has length C.
Using the Pythagorean Theorem, we know that A2 + B2 = C2.

In the right triangle above, the hypotenuse has length 5, and we see that 32 + 42 = 52 according to
the Pythagorean Theorem.
Triangle
A three-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees.

A triangle having all three sides of equal length. The angles of an equilateral triangle all measure
60 degrees.

Isosceles Triangle
A triangle having two sides of equal length.
Scalene Triangle
A triangle having three sides of different lengths.

Acute Triangle
A triangle having three acute angles.
:

Obtuse Triangle
A triangle having an obtuse angle. One of the angles of the triangle measures more than 90
degrees.

Right Triangle
A triangle having a right angle. One of the angles of the triangle measures 90 degrees. The side
opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse. The two sides that form the right angle are
called the legs. A right triangle has the special property that the sum of the squares of the lengths
of the legs equals the square of the length of the hypotenuse. This is known as the Pythagorean
Theorem.
:
For the right triangle above, the lengths of the legs are A and B, and the hypotenuse has length C.
Using the Pythagorean Theorem, we know that A2 + B2 = C2.

In the right triangle above, the hypotenuse has length 5, and we see that 32 + 42 = 52 according to
the Pythagorean Theorem.

A four-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a quadrilateral is 360 degrees.

Rectangle
A four-sided polygon having all right angles. The sum of the angles of a rectangle is 360
degrees.
Square
A four-sided polygon having equal-length sides meeting at right angles. The sum of the angles of
a square is 360 degrees.

Parallelogram
A four-sided polygon with two pairs of parallel sides. The sum of the angles of a parallelogram is
360 degrees.

Rhombus
A four-sided polygon having all four sides of equal length. The sum of the angles of a rhombus
is 360 degrees.

Trapezoid
A four-sided polygon having exactly one pair of parallel sides. The two sides that are parallel are
called the bases of the trapezoid. The sum of the angles of a trapezoid is 360 degrees.

Pentagon
A five-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a pentagon is 540 degrees.
:
A regular pentagon:
An irregular pentagon:

Hexagon
A six-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a hexagon is 720 degrees.
A regular hexagon: An irregular hexagon:

Heptagon
A seven-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a heptagon is 900 degrees.
A regular heptagon: An irregular heptagon:
Octagon
An eight-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of an octagon is 1080 degrees.
Examples:
A regular octagon: An irregular octagon:

Nonagon
A nine-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a nonagon is 1260 degrees.
Examples:
A regular nonagon: An irregular nonagon:

Decagon
A ten-sided polygon. The sum of the angles of a decagon is 1440 degrees.
Examples:
An irregular
A regular decagon:
decagon:
Circle
A circle is the collection of points in a plane that are all the same distance from a fixed point.
The fixed point is called the center. A line segment joining the center to any point on the circle is