A prism has flat sides and the same cross section all along its length !
Then imagine it extending up from the sheet of paper,
No curved sides.
For example, a cylinder is not a prism, because it has curved sides.
These are all Prisms:
|(yes, a cube is a prism, because it is a square
all along its length)
(Also see Rectangular Prisms )
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, and equal angles.)
Here is an example of an Irregular Prism:
|Irregular Pentagonal Prism:|
|(It is "irregular" because the
Pentagon is not "regular" in shape)
Volume of a Prism
The Volume of a prism is the area of one end times the length of the prism
Volume = Area × Length
Example: What is the volume of a prism whose ends have an area of 25 in2 and which is 12 in long:
Answer: Volume = 25 in2 × 12 in = 300 in3
Other Things to Know
The sides of a prism are parallelograms (flat shapes that have opposites sides parallel).
A prism can lean to one side, making it an oblique prism, but the two ends are still parallel, and the sides are still parallelograms!
But if the two ends are not parallel it is not a prism.