Area
Overview
Quantity
Quantity is a property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more" or "less" or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in terms of a unit of measurement. Quantity is among the basic classes of things along with quality, substance, change, and relation...
that expresses the extent of a twodimensional surface
Surface
In mathematics, specifically in topology, a surface is a twodimensional topological manifold. The most familiar examples are those that arise as the boundaries of solid objects in ordinary threedimensional Euclidean space R3 — for example, the surface of a ball...
or shape
Shape
The shape of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material...
in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...
necessary to cover the surface with a single coat. It is the twodimensional analog of the length
Length
In geometric measurements, length most commonly refers to the longest dimension of an object.In certain contexts, the term "length" is reserved for a certain dimension of an object along which the length is measured. For example it is possible to cut a length of a wire which is shorter than wire...
of a curve
Plane curve
In mathematics, a plane curve is a curve in a Euclidean plane . The most frequently studied cases are smooth plane curves , and algebraic plane curves....
(a onedimensional concept) or the volume
Volume
Volume is the quantity of threedimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....
of a solid
Solid geometry
In mathematics, solid geometry was the traditional name for the geometry of threedimensional Euclidean space — for practical purposes the kind of space we live in. It was developed following the development of plane geometry...
(a threedimensional concept).
The area of a shape can be measured by comparing the shape to square
Square (geometry)
In geometry, a square is a regular quadrilateral. This means that it has four equal sides and four equal angles...
s of a fixed size.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Area is a quantity
that expresses the extent of a twodimensional surface
or shape
in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint
necessary to cover the surface with a single coat. It is the twodimensional analog of the length
of a curve
(a onedimensional concept) or the volume
of a solid
(a threedimensional concept).
The area of a shape can be measured by comparing the shape to square
s of a fixed size. In the International System of Units
(SI), the standard unit of area is the square metre
(m^{2}), which is the area of a square whose sides are one metre
long. A shape with an area of three square metres would have the same area as three such squares. In mathematics
, the unit square
is defined to have area one, and the area of any other shape or surface is a dimensionless
real number
.
There are several wellknown formula
s for the areas of simple shapes such as triangle
s, rectangle
s, and circle
s. Using these formulas, the area of any polygon
can be found by dividing the polygon into triangles
. For shapes with curved boundary, calculus
is usually required to compute the area. Indeed, the problem of determining the area of plane figures was a major motivation for the historical development of calculus
.
For a solid shape such as a sphere
, cone
, or cylinder
, the area of its boundary surface is called the surface area
. Formulas for the surface areas of simple shapes were computed by the ancient Greeks
, but computing the surface area of a more complicated shape usually requires multivariable calculus
.
Area plays a important role in modern mathematics. In addition to its obvious importance in geometry
and calculus, area is related to the definition of determinant
s in linear algebra
, and is a basic property of surfaces in differential geometry. In analysis
, the area of a subset of the plane is defined using Lebesgue measure
, though not every subset is measurable. In general, area in higher mathematics is seen as a special case of volume
for twodimensional regions.
It can be proved that such an area function actually exists. (See, for example, Elementary Geometry from an Advanced Standpoint by Edwin Moise.)
has a corresponding unit of area, namely the area of a square with the given side length. Thus areas can be measure in square metre
s (m^{2}), square centimetres (cm^{2}), square millimetres (mm^{2}), square kilometre
s (km^{2}), square feet
(ft^{2}), square yard
s (yd^{2}), square mile
s (mi^{2}), and so forth. Algebraically, these units can be thought of as the squares of the corresponding length units.
The SI unit of area is the square metre, which is considered an SI derived unit
.
the relationship between square feet and square inches is
where 144 = 12^{2} = 12 × 12. Similarly:
In addition,
, with
Though the are has fallen out of use, the hectare
is still commonly used to measure land:
Other uncommon metric units of area include the tetrad
, the hectad, and the myriad
.
The acre
is also commonly used to measure land areas, where
An acre is approximately 40% of a hectare.
. Given a rectangle with length and , the formula for the area is
That is, the area of the rectangle is the length multiplied by the width. As a special case, the area of a square with side length is given by the formula
The formula for the area of a rectangle follows directly from the basic properties of area, and is sometimes taken as a definition
or axiom
. On the other hand, if geometry
is developed before arithmetic
, this formula can be used to define multiplication
of real number
s.
.
This involves cutting a shape into pieces, whose areas must sum
to the area of the original shape.
For an example, any parallelogram
can be subdivided into a trapezoid
and a right triangle
, as shown in figure to the left. If the triangle is moved to the other side of the trapezoid, then the resulting figure is a rectangle. It follows that the area of the parallelogram is the same as the area of the rectangle:
However, the same parallelogram can also be cut along a diagonal
into two congruent
triangles, as shown in the figure to the right. It follows that the area of each triangle is half the area of the parallelogram: (triangle).
Similar arguments can be used to find area formulae for the trapezoid
and the rhombus
, as well as more complicated polygon
s.
is based on a similar method. Given a circle of radius , it is possible to partition the circle into sector
s, as shown in the figure to the right. Each sector is approximately triangular in shape, and the sectors can be rearranged to form and approximate parallelogram. The height of this parallelogram is , and the width is half the circumference
of the circle, or . Thus, the total area of the circle is , or :
Though the dissection used in this formula is only approximate, the error becomes smaller and smaller as the circle is partitioned into more and more sectors. The limit
of the areas of the approximate parallelograms is exactly , which is the area of the circle.
This argument is actually a simple application of the ideas of calculus
. In ancient times, the method of exhaustion
was used in a similar way to find the area of the circle, and this method is now recognized as a precursor to integral calculus. Using modern methods, the area of a circle can be computed using a definite integral:
can be obtained by cutting surfaces and flattening them out. For example, if the side surface of a cylinder
(or any prism
) is cut lengthwise, the surface can be flattened out into a rectangle. Similarly, if a cut is made along the side of a cone
, the side surface can be flattened out into a sector
of a circle, and the resulting area computed.
The formula for the surface area of a sphere
is more difficult: because the surface of a sphere has nonzero Gaussian curvature
, it cannot be flattened out. The formula for the surface area of a sphere was first obtained by Archimedes
in his work On the Sphere and Cylinder
. The formula is
where is the radius of the sphere. As with the formula for the area of a circle, any derivation of this formula inherently uses methods similar to calculus
.
e for area:
The above calculations show how to find the area of many common shapes.
The area of irregular polygons can be calculated using the "Surveyor's formula".
(see Green's theorem
)
Even more general formula for the area of the graph of a parametric surface
in the vector form where is a continuously differentiable vector function of :
. Familiar examples include soap bubble
s.
The question of the filling area
of the Riemannian circle
remains open.
Quantity
Quantity is a property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more" or "less" or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in terms of a unit of measurement. Quantity is among the basic classes of things along with quality, substance, change, and relation...
that expresses the extent of a twodimensional surface
Surface
In mathematics, specifically in topology, a surface is a twodimensional topological manifold. The most familiar examples are those that arise as the boundaries of solid objects in ordinary threedimensional Euclidean space R3 — for example, the surface of a ball...
or shape
Shape
The shape of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material...
in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...
necessary to cover the surface with a single coat. It is the twodimensional analog of the length
Length
In geometric measurements, length most commonly refers to the longest dimension of an object.In certain contexts, the term "length" is reserved for a certain dimension of an object along which the length is measured. For example it is possible to cut a length of a wire which is shorter than wire...
of a curve
Plane curve
In mathematics, a plane curve is a curve in a Euclidean plane . The most frequently studied cases are smooth plane curves , and algebraic plane curves....
(a onedimensional concept) or the volume
Volume
Volume is the quantity of threedimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....
of a solid
Solid geometry
In mathematics, solid geometry was the traditional name for the geometry of threedimensional Euclidean space — for practical purposes the kind of space we live in. It was developed following the development of plane geometry...
(a threedimensional concept).
The area of a shape can be measured by comparing the shape to square
Square (geometry)
In geometry, a square is a regular quadrilateral. This means that it has four equal sides and four equal angles...
s of a fixed size. In the International System of Units
International System of Units
The International System of Units is the modern form of the metric system and is generally a system of units of measurement devised around seven base units and the convenience of the number ten. The older metric system included several groups of units...
(SI), the standard unit of area is the square metre
Square metre
The square metre or square meter is the SI derived unit of area, with symbol m2 . It is defined as the area of a square whose sides measure exactly one metre...
(m^{2}), which is the area of a square whose sides are one metre
Metre
The metre , symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units . Originally intended to be one tenmillionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole , its definition has been periodically refined to reflect growing knowledge of metrology...
long. A shape with an area of three square metres would have the same area as three such squares. In mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...
, the unit square
Unit square
In mathematics, a unit square is a square whose sides have length 1. Often, "the" unit square refers specifically to the square in the Cartesian plane with corners at , , , and .In the real plane:...
is defined to have area one, and the area of any other shape or surface is a dimensionless
Dimensionless quantity
In dimensional analysis, a dimensionless quantity or quantity of dimension one is a quantity without an associated physical dimension. It is thus a "pure" number, and as such always has a dimension of 1. Dimensionless quantities are widely used in mathematics, physics, engineering, economics, and...
real number
Real number
In mathematics, a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as 5 , 4/3 , 8.6 , √2 and π...
.
There are several wellknown formula
Formula
In mathematics, a formula is an entity constructed using the symbols and formation rules of a given logical language....
s for the areas of simple shapes such as triangle
Triangle
A triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted ....
s, rectangle
Rectangle
In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles. The term "oblong" is occasionally used to refer to a nonsquare rectangle...
s, and circle
Circle
A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius....
s. Using these formulas, the area of any polygon
Polygon
In geometry a polygon is a flat shape consisting of straight lines that are joined to form a closed chain orcircuit.A polygon is traditionally a plane figure that is bounded by a closed path, composed of a finite sequence of straight line segments...
can be found by dividing the polygon into triangles
Polygon triangulation
In computational geometry, polygon triangulation is the decomposition of a polygonal area P into a set of triangles, i.e., finding the set of triangles with pairwise nonintersecting interiors whose union is P....
. For shapes with curved boundary, calculus
Calculus
Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem...
is usually required to compute the area. Indeed, the problem of determining the area of plane figures was a major motivation for the historical development of calculus
History of calculus
Calculus, historically known as infinitesimal calculus, is a mathematical discipline focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. Ideas leading up to the notions of function, derivative, and integral were developed throughout the 17th century, but the decisive step was...
.
For a solid shape such as a sphere
Sphere
A sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in threedimensional space, such as the shape of a round ball. Like a circle in two dimensions, a perfect sphere is completely symmetrical around its center, with all points on the surface lying the same distance r from the center point...
, cone
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an ndimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...
, or cylinder
Cylinder (geometry)
A cylinder is one of the most basic curvilinear geometric shapes, the surface formed by the points at a fixed distance from a given line segment, the axis of the cylinder. The solid enclosed by this surface and by two planes perpendicular to the axis is also called a cylinder...
, the area of its boundary surface is called the surface area
Surface area
Surface area is the measure of how much exposed area a solid object has, expressed in square units. Mathematical description of the surface area is considerably more involved than the definition of arc length of a curve. For polyhedra the surface area is the sum of the areas of its faces...
. Formulas for the surface areas of simple shapes were computed by the ancient Greeks
Greek mathematics
Greek mathematics, as that term is used in this article, is the mathematics written in Greek, developed from the 7th century BC to the 4th century AD around the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Greek mathematicians lived in cities spread over the entire Eastern Mediterranean, from Italy to...
, but computing the surface area of a more complicated shape usually requires multivariable calculus
Multivariable calculus
Multivariable calculus is the extension of calculus in one variable to calculus in more than one variable: the differentiated and integrated functions involve multiple variables, rather than just one....
.
Area plays a important role in modern mathematics. In addition to its obvious importance in geometry
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of premodern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....
and calculus, area is related to the definition of determinant
Determinant
In linear algebra, the determinant is a value associated with a square matrix. It can be computed from the entries of the matrix by a specific arithmetic expression, while other ways to determine its value exist as well...
s in linear algebra
Linear algebra
Linear algebra is a branch of mathematics that studies vector spaces, also called linear spaces, along with linear functions that input one vector and output another. Such functions are called linear maps and can be represented by matrices if a basis is given. Thus matrix theory is often...
, and is a basic property of surfaces in differential geometry. In analysis
Analysis
Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle , though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development.The word is...
, the area of a subset of the plane is defined using Lebesgue measure
Lebesgue measure
In measure theory, the Lebesgue measure, named after French mathematician Henri Lebesgue, is the standard way of assigning a measure to subsets of ndimensional Euclidean space. For n = 1, 2, or 3, it coincides with the standard measure of length, area, or volume. In general, it is also called...
, though not every subset is measurable. In general, area in higher mathematics is seen as a special case of volume
Volume
Volume is the quantity of threedimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....
for twodimensional regions.
Formal definition
An approach to defining what is meant by area is through axioms. For example, we may define area as a function a from a collection M of special kind of plane figures (termed measurable sets) to the set of real numbers which satisfies the following properties: For all S in M, .
 If S and T are in M then so are and and also, .
 If S and T are in M with then T − S is in M and a(T − S) = a(T) − a(S).
 If a set S is in M and S is congruent to T then T is also in M and a(S) = a(T).
 Every rectangle R is in M. If the rectangle has length h and breadth k then a(R) = hk.
 Let Q be a set enclosed between two step regions S and T. A step region is formed from a finite union of adjacent rectangles resting on a common base, i.e. . If there is a unique number c such that for all such step regions S and T, then a(Q) = c.
It can be proved that such an area function actually exists. (See, for example, Elementary Geometry from an Advanced Standpoint by Edwin Moise.)
Units
Every unit of lengthUnit of length
Many different units of length have been used across the world. The main units in modern use are U.S. customary units in the United States and the Metric system elsewhere. British Imperial units are still used for some purposes in the United Kingdom and some other countries...
has a corresponding unit of area, namely the area of a square with the given side length. Thus areas can be measure in square metre
Square metre
The square metre or square meter is the SI derived unit of area, with symbol m2 . It is defined as the area of a square whose sides measure exactly one metre...
s (m^{2}), square centimetres (cm^{2}), square millimetres (mm^{2}), square kilometre
Square kilometre
Square kilometer, symbol km2, is a decimal multiple of the SI unit of surface area, the square metre, one of the SI derived units.1 km2 is equal to:* 1,000,000 m2* 100 ha * 0.386302 square miles* 247.105381 acresConversely:...
s (km^{2}), square feet
Square foot
The square foot is an imperial unit and U.S. customary unit of area, used mainly in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is defined as the area of a square with sides of 1 foot in length...
(ft^{2}), square yard
Square yard
The square yard is an imperial/US customary unit of area, formerly used in most of the Englishspeaking world but now generally replaced by the square metre outside of the U.S., Canada and the U.K. It is defined as the area of a square with sides of one yard in length...
s (yd^{2}), square mile
Square mile
The square mile is an imperial and US unit of measure for an area equal to the area of a square of one statute mile. It should not be confused with miles square, which refers to the number of miles on each side squared...
s (mi^{2}), and so forth. Algebraically, these units can be thought of as the squares of the corresponding length units.
The SI unit of area is the square metre, which is considered an SI derived unit
SI derived unit
The International System of Units specifies a set of seven base units from which all other units of measurement are formed, by products of the powers of base units. These other units are called SI derived units, for example, the SI derived unit of area is square metre , and of density is...
.
Conversions
The conversion between two square units is the square of the conversion between the corresponding length units. For example, since 1 foot = 12 inchInchAn inch is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, and United States customary units. There are 36 inches in a yard and 12 inches in a foot...
es,
the relationship between square feet and square inches is
 1 square foot = 144 square inches,
where 144 = 12^{2} = 12 × 12. Similarly:
 1 square kilometer = 1,000,000MillionOne million or one thousand thousand, is the natural number following 999,999 and preceding 1,000,001. The word is derived from the early Italian millione , from mille, "thousand", plus the augmentative suffix one.In scientific notation, it is written as or just 106...
square meters  1 square meter = 10,00010000 (number)10000 is the natural number following 9999 and preceding 10001.Name:Many languages have a specific word for this number: In English it is myriad, in Ancient Greek , in Aramaic , in Hebrew רבבה , in Chinese , in Japanese [man], in Korean [man], and in Thai หมื่น [meun]...
square centimetres = 1,000,000 square millimetres  1 square centimetre = 100100 (number)100 is the natural number following 99 and preceding 101.In mathematics:One hundred is the square of 10...
square millimetres  1 square yard = 9 square feet
 1 square mile = 3,097,600 square yards = 27,878,400 square feet
In addition,
 1 square inch = 6.4516 square centimetres
 1 square foot = square metres
 1 square yard = square metres
 1 square mile = square kilometres
Other units
There are several other common units for area. The are was the original unit of area in the metric systemMetric system
The metric system is an international decimalised system of measurement. France was first to adopt a metric system, in 1799, and a metric system is now the official system of measurement, used in almost every country in the world...
, with
 1 are = 100 square metres
Though the are has fallen out of use, the hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...
is still commonly used to measure land:
 1 hectare = 100 ares = 10,000 square metres = 0.01 square kilometres
Other uncommon metric units of area include the tetrad
Tetrad
Tetrad may refer to:* Tetrad , Bivalents or Tetrad of homologous chromosomes consisting of four synapsed chromatids that become visible during the Pachytene stage of meiotic prophase...
, the hectad, and the myriad
Myriad
Myriad , "numberlesscountless, infinite", is a classical Greek word for the number 10,000. In modern English, the word refers to an unspecified large quantity.History and usage:...
.
The acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...
is also commonly used to measure land areas, where
 1 acre = 4,840 square yards = 43,560 square feet.
An acre is approximately 40% of a hectare.
Rectangles
The most basic area formula is the formula for the area of a rectangleRectangle
In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles. The term "oblong" is occasionally used to refer to a nonsquare rectangle...
. Given a rectangle with length and , the formula for the area is
 (rectangle).
That is, the area of the rectangle is the length multiplied by the width. As a special case, the area of a square with side length is given by the formula
 (square).
The formula for the area of a rectangle follows directly from the basic properties of area, and is sometimes taken as a definition
Definition
A definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term , or a type of thing. The term to be defined is the definiendum. A term may have many different senses or meanings...
or axiom
Axiom
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be selfevident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...
. On the other hand, if geometry
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of premodern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....
is developed before arithmetic
Arithmetic
Arithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple daytoday counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...
, this formula can be used to define multiplication
Multiplication
Multiplication is the mathematical operation of scaling one number by another. It is one of the four basic operations in elementary arithmetic ....
of real number
Real number
In mathematics, a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as 5 , 4/3 , 8.6 , √2 and π...
s.
Dissection formulae
Most other simple formulae for area follow from the method of dissectionDissection (geometry)
In geometry, a dissection problem is the problem of partitioning a geometric figure into smaller pieces that may be rearranged into a new figure of equal content. In this context, the partitioning is called simply a dissection...
.
This involves cutting a shape into pieces, whose areas must sum
Addition
Addition is a mathematical operation that represents combining collections of objects together into a larger collection. It is signified by the plus sign . For example, in the picture on the right, there are 3 + 2 apples—meaning three apples and two other apples—which is the same as five apples....
to the area of the original shape.
For an example, any parallelogram
Parallelogram
In Euclidean geometry, a parallelogram is a convex quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. The opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure...
can be subdivided into a trapezoid
Trapezoid
In Euclidean geometry, a convex quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides is referred to as a trapezoid in American English and as a trapezium in English outside North America. A trapezoid with vertices ABCD is denoted...
and a right triangle
Right triangle
A right triangle or rightangled triangle is a triangle in which one angle is a right angle . The relation between the sides and angles of a right triangle is the basis for trigonometry.Terminology:The side opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse...
, as shown in figure to the left. If the triangle is moved to the other side of the trapezoid, then the resulting figure is a rectangle. It follows that the area of the parallelogram is the same as the area of the rectangle:
 (parallelogram).
However, the same parallelogram can also be cut along a diagonal
Diagonal
A diagonal is a line joining two nonconsecutive vertices of a polygon or polyhedron. Informally, any sloping line is called diagonal. The word "diagonal" derives from the Greek διαγώνιος , from dia and gonia ; it was used by both Strabo and Euclid to refer to a line connecting two vertices of a...
into two congruent
Congruence (geometry)
In geometry, two figures are congruent if they have the same shape and size. This means that either object can be repositioned so as to coincide precisely with the other object...
triangles, as shown in the figure to the right. It follows that the area of each triangle is half the area of the parallelogram: (triangle).
Similar arguments can be used to find area formulae for the trapezoid
Trapezoid
In Euclidean geometry, a convex quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides is referred to as a trapezoid in American English and as a trapezium in English outside North America. A trapezoid with vertices ABCD is denoted...
and the rhombus
Rhombus
In Euclidean geometry, a rhombus or rhomb is a convex quadrilateral whose four sides all have the same length. The rhombus is often called a diamond, after the diamonds suit in playing cards, or a lozenge, though the latter sometimes refers specifically to a rhombus with a 45° angle.Every...
, as well as more complicated polygon
Polygon
In geometry a polygon is a flat shape consisting of straight lines that are joined to form a closed chain orcircuit.A polygon is traditionally a plane figure that is bounded by a closed path, composed of a finite sequence of straight line segments...
s.
Circles
The formula for the area of a circleCircle
A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius....
is based on a similar method. Given a circle of radius , it is possible to partition the circle into sector
Sector
 Places :* Sector, Devon, a location in the county of Devon in southwestern England* Sector, West Virginia, an unincorporated community in Hampshire County, West Virginia, United States of America In computing :...
s, as shown in the figure to the right. Each sector is approximately triangular in shape, and the sectors can be rearranged to form and approximate parallelogram. The height of this parallelogram is , and the width is half the circumference
Circumference
The circumference is the distance around a closed curve. Circumference is a special perimeter.Circumference of a circle:The circumference of a circle is the length around it....
of the circle, or . Thus, the total area of the circle is , or :
 (circle).
Though the dissection used in this formula is only approximate, the error becomes smaller and smaller as the circle is partitioned into more and more sectors. The limit
Limit (mathematics)
In mathematics, the concept of a "limit" is used to describe the value that a function or sequence "approaches" as the input or index approaches some value. The concept of limit allows mathematicians to define a new point from a Cauchy sequence of previously defined points within a complete metric...
of the areas of the approximate parallelograms is exactly , which is the area of the circle.
This argument is actually a simple application of the ideas of calculus
Calculus
Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem...
. In ancient times, the method of exhaustion
Method of exhaustion
The method of exhaustion is a method of finding the area of a shape by inscribing inside it a sequence of polygons whose areas converge to the area of the containing shape. If the sequence is correctly constructed, the difference in area between the nth polygon and the containing shape will...
was used in a similar way to find the area of the circle, and this method is now recognized as a precursor to integral calculus. Using modern methods, the area of a circle can be computed using a definite integral:
Surface area
Most basic formulae for surface areaSurface area
Surface area is the measure of how much exposed area a solid object has, expressed in square units. Mathematical description of the surface area is considerably more involved than the definition of arc length of a curve. For polyhedra the surface area is the sum of the areas of its faces...
can be obtained by cutting surfaces and flattening them out. For example, if the side surface of a cylinder
Cylinder (geometry)
A cylinder is one of the most basic curvilinear geometric shapes, the surface formed by the points at a fixed distance from a given line segment, the axis of the cylinder. The solid enclosed by this surface and by two planes perpendicular to the axis is also called a cylinder...
(or any prism
Prism (geometry)
In geometry, a prism is a polyhedron with an nsided polygonal base, a translated copy , and n other faces joining corresponding sides of the two bases. All crosssections parallel to the base faces are the same. Prisms are named for their base, so a prism with a pentagonal base is called a...
) is cut lengthwise, the surface can be flattened out into a rectangle. Similarly, if a cut is made along the side of a cone
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an ndimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...
, the side surface can be flattened out into a sector
Sector
 Places :* Sector, Devon, a location in the county of Devon in southwestern England* Sector, West Virginia, an unincorporated community in Hampshire County, West Virginia, United States of America In computing :...
of a circle, and the resulting area computed.
The formula for the surface area of a sphere
Sphere
A sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in threedimensional space, such as the shape of a round ball. Like a circle in two dimensions, a perfect sphere is completely symmetrical around its center, with all points on the surface lying the same distance r from the center point...
is more difficult: because the surface of a sphere has nonzero Gaussian curvature
Gaussian curvature
In differential geometry, the Gaussian curvature or Gauss curvature of a point on a surface is the product of the principal curvatures, κ1 and κ2, of the given point. It is an intrinsic measure of curvature, i.e., its value depends only on how distances are measured on the surface, not on the way...
, it cannot be flattened out. The formula for the surface area of a sphere was first obtained by Archimedes
Archimedes
Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an...
in his work On the Sphere and Cylinder
On the Sphere and Cylinder
On the Sphere and Cylinder is a work that was published by Archimedes in two volumes c. 225 BC. It most notably details how to find the surface area of a sphere and the volume of the contained ball and the analogous values for a cylinder, and was the first to do so.Contents:The principal formulae...
. The formula is
 (sphere).
where is the radius of the sphere. As with the formula for the area of a circle, any derivation of this formula inherently uses methods similar to calculus
Calculus
Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem...
.
List of formulae
formulaFormula
In mathematics, a formula is an entity constructed using the symbols and formation rules of a given logical language....
e for area:
Shape  Formula  Variables 

Regular triangle Triangle A triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted .... (equilateral triangle) 
is the length of one side of the triangle.  
Triangle Triangle A triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted .... 
is half the perimeter, , and are the length of each side.  
Triangle Triangle A triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted .... 
and are any two sides, and is the angle between them.  
Triangle Triangle A triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted .... 
and are the base Base (geometry) In geometry, a base is a side of a plane figure or face of solid, particularly one perpendicular to the direction height is measured or on what is considered to the bottom. This usage can be applied to a triangle, parallelogram, trapezoids, cylinder, pyramid, parallelopiped or frustum. By... and altitude Altitude (triangle) In geometry, an altitude of a triangle is a straight line through a vertex and perpendicular to a line containing the base . This line containing the opposite side is called the extended base of the altitude. The intersection between the extended base and the altitude is called the foot of the... (measured perpendicular to the base), respectively. 

Square Square (geometry) In geometry, a square is a regular quadrilateral. This means that it has four equal sides and four equal angles... 
is the length of one side of the square.  
Rectangle Rectangle In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles. The term "oblong" is occasionally used to refer to a nonsquare rectangle... 
and are the lengths of the rectangle's sides (length and width).  
Rhombus Rhombus In Euclidean geometry, a rhombus or rhomb is a convex quadrilateral whose four sides all have the same length. The rhombus is often called a diamond, after the diamonds suit in playing cards, or a lozenge, though the latter sometimes refers specifically to a rhombus with a 45° angle.Every... 
and are the lengths of the two diagonals of the rhombus.  
Parallelogram Parallelogram In Euclidean geometry, a parallelogram is a convex quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. The opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure... 
is the length of the base and is the perpendicular height.  
Trapezoid Trapezoid In Euclidean geometry, a convex quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides is referred to as a trapezoid in American English and as a trapezium in English outside North America. A trapezoid with vertices ABCD is denoted... 
and are the parallel sides and the distance (height) between the parallels.  
Regular hexagon  is the length of one side of the hexagon.  
Regular octagon  is the length of one side of the octagon.  
Regular polygon Regular polygon A regular polygon is a polygon that is equiangular and equilateral . Regular polygons may be convex or star.General properties:... 
is the side length and is the number of sides.  
Regular polygon  is the perimeter and is the number of sides.  
Regular polygon  is the radius of a circumscribed circle, is the radius of an inscribed circle, and is the number of sides.  
Regular polygon  is the apothem Apothem The apothem of a regular polygon is a line segment from the center to the midpoint of one of its sides. Equivalently, it is the line drawn from the center of the polygon that is perpendicular to one of its sides. The word "apothem" can also refer to the length of that line segment. Regular polygons... , or the radius of an inscribed circle in the polygon, and is the perimeter of the polygon. 

Regular ngon (n≥5)  is the side length and is the number of sides. Note that must be a natural number where ≥5.  
Circle Circle A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius.... 
is the radius and the diameter Diameter In geometry, a diameter of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center of the circle and whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameters are the longest chords of the circle... . 

Circular sector Circular sector A circular sector or circle sector, is the portion of a disk enclosed by two radii and an arc, where the smaller area is known as the minor sector and the larger being the major sector. In the diagram, θ is the central angle in radians, r the radius of the circle, and L is the arc length of the... 
and are the radius and angle (in radians), respectively.  
Ellipse Ellipse In geometry, an ellipse is a plane curve that results from the intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that produces a closed curve. Circles are special cases of ellipses, obtained when the cutting plane is orthogonal to the cone's axis... 
and are the semimajor Semimajor axis The major axis of an ellipse is its longest diameter, a line that runs through the centre and both foci, its ends being at the widest points of the shape... and semiminor Semiminor axis In geometry, the semiminor axis is a line segment associated with most conic sections . One end of the segment is the center of the conic section, and it is at right angles with the semimajor axis... axes, respectively. 

Total surface area of a Cylinder Cylinder (geometry) A cylinder is one of the most basic curvilinear geometric shapes, the surface formed by the points at a fixed distance from a given line segment, the axis of the cylinder. The solid enclosed by this surface and by two planes perpendicular to the axis is also called a cylinder... 
and are the radius and height, respectively.  
Lateral surface area of a cylinder  and are the radius and height, respectively.  
Total surface area of a Cone Cone (geometry) A cone is an ndimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base... 
and are the radius and slant height, respectively.  
Lateral surface area of a cone  and are the radius and slant height, respectively.  
Total surface area of a Sphere  and are the radius and diameter, respectively.  
Total surface area of an ellipsoid  See the article.  
Total surface area of a Pyramid Pyramid (geometry) In geometry, a pyramid is a polyhedron formed by connecting a polygonal base and a point, called the apex. Each base edge and apex form a triangle. It is a conic solid with polygonal base.... 
is the base area, is the base perimeter and is the slant height.  
Square Square (geometry) In geometry, a square is a regular quadrilateral. This means that it has four equal sides and four equal angles... to circular area conversion 
is the area of the square Square (geometry) In geometry, a square is a regular quadrilateral. This means that it has four equal sides and four equal angles... in square units. 

Circular Circle A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius.... to square area conversion 
is the area of the circle Circle A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius.... in circular units. 
The above calculations show how to find the area of many common shapes.
The area of irregular polygons can be calculated using the "Surveyor's formula".
Areas of 2dimensional figures
 a triangleTriangleA triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted ....
: (where B is any side, and h is the distance from the line on which B lies to the other vertex of the triangle). This formula can be used if the height h is known. If the lengths of the three sides are known then Heron's formula can be used: where a, b, c are the sides of the triangle, and is half of its perimeter. If an angle and its two included sides are given, the area is where C is the given angle and a and b are its included sides. If the triangle is graphed on a coordinate plane, a matrix can be used and is simplified to the absolute value of . This formula is also known as the shoelace formulaShoelace formulaThe shoelace formula, or shoelace algorithm, is a mathematical algorithm to determine the area of a polygon whose vertices are described by ordered pairs in the plane. The user crossmultiplies corresponding coordinates to find the area encompassing the polygon, and subtracts it from the...
and is an easy way to solve for the area of a coordinate triangle by substituting the 3 points (x_{1},y_{1}), (x_{2},y_{2}), and (x_{3},y_{3}). The shoelace formula can also be used to find the areas of other polygons when their vertices are known. Another approach for a coordinate triangle is to use Infinitesimal calculusInfinitesimal calculusInfinitesimal calculus is the part of mathematics concerned with finding slope of curves, areas under curves, minima and maxima, and other geometric and analytic problems. It was independently developed by Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton starting in the 1660s...
to find the area.  a simple polygonSimple polygonIn geometry, a simple polygon is a closed polygonal chain of line segments in the plane which do not have points in common other than the common vertices of pairs of consecutive segments....
constructed on a grid of equaldistanced points (i.e., points with integerIntegerThe integers are formed by the natural numbers together with the negatives of the nonzero natural numbers .They are known as Positive and Negative Integers respectively...
coordinates) such that all the polygon's vertices are grid points: , where i is the number of grid points inside the polygon and b is the number of boundary points. This result is known as Pick's theoremPick's theoremGiven a simple polygon constructed on a grid of equaldistanced points such that all the polygon's vertices are grid points, Pick's theorem provides a simple formula for calculating the area A of this polygon in terms of the number i of lattice points in the interior located in the polygon and the...
.
Area in calculus
 the area between the graphGraph of a functionIn mathematics, the graph of a function f is the collection of all ordered pairs . In particular, if x is a real number, graph means the graphical representation of this collection, in the form of a curve on a Cartesian plane, together with Cartesian axes, etc. Graphing on a Cartesian plane is...
s of two functions is equal to the integralIntegralIntegration is an important concept in mathematics and, together with its inverse, differentiation, is one of the two main operations in calculus...
of one functionFunction (mathematics)In mathematics, a function associates one quantity, the argument of the function, also known as the input, with another quantity, the value of the function, also known as the output. A function assigns exactly one output to each input. The argument and the value may be real numbers, but they can...
, f(x), minusSubtractionIn arithmetic, subtraction is one of the four basic binary operations; it is the inverse of addition, meaning that if we start with any number and add any number and then subtract the same number we added, we return to the number we started with...
the integral of the other function, g(x).  an area bounded by a function r = r(θ) expressed in polar coordinates is .
 the area enclosed by a parametric curve with endpoints is given by the line integralLine integralIn mathematics, a line integral is an integral where the function to be integrated is evaluated along a curve.The function to be integrated may be a scalar field or a vector field...
s
(see Green's theorem
Green's theorem
In mathematics, Green's theorem gives the relationship between a line integral around a simple closed curve C and a double integral over the plane region D bounded by C...
)
 or the zcomponent of
Surface area of 3dimensional figures
 cube: , where s is the length of the top side
 rectangular box: the length divided by height
 coneCone (geometry)A cone is an ndimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...
: , where r is the radius of the circular base, and h is the height. That can also be rewritten as where r is the radius and l is the slant height of the cone. is the base area while is the lateral surface area of the cone.  prismPrism (geometry)In geometry, a prism is a polyhedron with an nsided polygonal base, a translated copy , and n other faces joining corresponding sides of the two bases. All crosssections parallel to the base faces are the same. Prisms are named for their base, so a prism with a pentagonal base is called a...
: 2 × Area of Base + Perimeter of Base × Height
General formula
The general formula for the surface area of the graph of a continuously differentiable function where and is a region in the xyplane with the smooth boundary:Even more general formula for the area of the graph of a parametric surface
Parametric surface
A parametric surface is a surface in the Euclidean space R3 which is defined by a parametric equation with two parameters. Parametric representation is the most general way to specify a surface. Surfaces that occur in two of the main theorems of vector calculus, Stokes' theorem and the divergence...
in the vector form where is a continuously differentiable vector function of :
Minimization
Given a wire contour, the surface of least area spanning ("filling") it is a minimal surfaceMinimal surface
In mathematics, a minimal surface is a surface with a mean curvature of zero.These include, but are not limited to, surfaces of minimum area subject to various constraints....
. Familiar examples include soap bubble
Soap bubble
A soap bubble is a thin film of soapy water enclosing air, that forms a hollow sphere with an iridescent surface. Soap bubbles usually last for only a few seconds before bursting, either on their own or on contact with another object. They are often used for children's enjoyment, but they are also...
s.
The question of the filling area
Filling area conjecture
In mathematics, in Riemannian geometry, Mikhail Gromov's filling area conjecture asserts that among all possible fillings of the Riemannian circle of length 2π by a surface with the strongly isometric property, the round hemisphere has the least area...
of the Riemannian circle
Riemannian circle
In metric space theory and Riemannian geometry, the Riemannian circle is a great circle equipped with its greatcircle distance...
remains open.
See also
 Equiareal mapping
 IntegralIntegralIntegration is an important concept in mathematics and, together with its inverse, differentiation, is one of the two main operations in calculus...
 Orders of magnitude (area)Orders of magnitude (area)This page is a progressive and labeled list of the SI area orders of magnitude, with certain examples appended to some list objects.References:...
—A list of areas by size.  PerimeterPerimeterA perimeter is a path that surrounds an area. The word comes from the Greek peri and meter . The term may be used either for the path or its length  it can be thought of as the length of the outline of a shape. The perimeter of a circular area is called circumference. Practical uses :Calculating...
 VolumeVolumeVolume is the quantity of threedimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....