Cube - Geometry Made Easy - What is a cube? How do we know whether a shape is a cube? How can we find out the volume of a cube?
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A cube is a square moved through space, so it gets thicker. All cubes have six sides - the top, the bottom, and four sides. Each of these sides is a plane. In this picture you can see the top and two of the sides. The bottom and the other two sides are hidden.

A cube has eight corners, all of them right angles. You can see seven of the eight corners in this picture.

The top and bottom of a cube are parallel planes, and so are the opposite sides. The top and bottom are perpendicular to the four sides.

Our word "cube" comes from the Arabic word "k'ab", meaning cube (like the Ka'aba in Mecca). This is because Arab mathematicians did a lot of early geometry work, and European mathematicians learned it from them.

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Copyright 2012-2015 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated September 2015.

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