What is Surface Area? Definition and Examples

The surface area is the total area of the outer surface of a solid figure.

For example, a rectangular prism has 6 faces. Here is how to find the surface area:

Find the area of each of the six faces

Add the areas of all the six faces

Is the surface area equal to the area?

No! You can only find the area of a plane or a two-dimensional figure such as a triangle or rectangle. However, you can only find the surface area of a three-dimensional figure such as a pyramid or a cube.

How do you calculate the surface area?

There are usually some surface area formulas for three-dimensional figures that you can use. For example, to find the surface area of a cube where s is the length of one side, use the formula 6s2

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