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Square Prism: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:05 Prisms
  • 0:51 Square Prisms
  • 2:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Vigil
In this lesson, learn what prisms are and what makes square prisms unique. Included are a few examples of square prisms and the qualities that make up these three dimensional objects.

Prisms

Prisms make up many everyday objects, but what makes them stand out? A prism is a three dimensional solid object with flat sides and bases that are the same. For example, a tissue box is a prism because it has opposite bases that are the same, and flat sides that are parallelograms. Dice are prisms; the bases are flat faces and in this example, they are square. Joined together, they make the enclosed three-dimensional shape shown here:

dice

A prism has two parallel faces, or the distinct flat surfaces or slides of a solid. These faces are called bases, and they are used to name the type of prism. Looking around a classroom, kitchen or office, prisms with square, rectangular, and triangular faces can be quite easy to spot.

Square Prisms

Since there are many different shapes that can serve as the base of a prism, there are many types of prisms that can be made. Prisms are named for the shape of their bases, so a square prism is simply a prism that has squares as its bases. Think again about dice; they are enclosed three-dimensional shapes, based on two squares.

In fact, regular dice are cubed, all the faces are square. So cubes are a square prism no matter how they are looked at!

A common real-world example of a cube is the famous Rubik's Cube. When identifying a square prism, all the faces don't have to be squares. Remember, as long as the shapes have two square faces, meaning it's bases are squares, it's a square prism.

For example:

Rectangular Square Prism
Rectangular Square Prism

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