# Surface Area of Sphere

## Understanding the Surface Area of Spheres

A sphere is a three-dimensional object with a round shape, similar to a soccer ball or a globe. In this article, we will delve into the topic of surface area of spheres and learn how to calculate it.

## Visualizing a Sphere's Components

To better understand the surface area of a sphere, it helps to visualize its components. Imagine several identical circles in three-dimensional space, all with the same center point. Together, these circles form a sphere. Every point on the sphere's surface is equidistant from its center, which is known as the radius of the sphere.

## Defining the Formula for Surface Area

In mathematical terms, a sphere is defined as the set of all points that are the same distance away from a specific point, also known as its center. The surface area of a sphere can be thought of as the minimum amount of paper needed to cover its entire surface. In other words, it is the total space that covers the shape's surface, measured in square units (such as m2 or ft2).

## Calculating the Surface Area

Let's consider a sphere with a radius of r. The formula for finding its surface area, S, is:

S = 4πr2

If we are given the diameter of a sphere instead of its radius, we can still use the same formula. Since the diameter is twice the length of the radius, we can simply substitute the value in the formula to get the surface area.

S = 4πr2

S = 4π(d/2)2

S = πd2

## Great Circles and Spheres

When a plane intersects a sphere and passes through its center, the resulting circle is known as a great circle. Essentially, a great circle is a circle within the sphere with the same radius as the sphere itself. This great circle divides the sphere into two symmetrical halves, known as hemispheres. For example, the equator on Earth can be considered a great circle, as it divides the planet into two equal halves.

## Examples of Calculating Surface Area

Let's take a look at a few examples to solidify our understanding of calculating the surface area of spheres.

### Example 1:

Find the surface area of a sphere with a radius of 5 ft.

Solution:

S = 4πr2

S = 4π(5)2

S = 4π(25)

S = 100π

S ≈ 314 ft2

### Example 2:

Given that the area of the great circle of a sphere is 35 square units, find its surface area.

Solution:

S = 4πr2

Area of the great circle = πr2 = 35

4πr2 = 4(35)

4πr2 = 140

S = 140 square units

### Example 3:

If the surface area of a sphere is 616 ft2, what is its radius?

Solution:

616 = 4πr2

154 = πr2

r2 = 154/π

r ≈ 6.23 ft

## Key Takeaways

To summarize, a sphere is a three-dimensional shape where all points on its surface are equidistant from its center. The surface area of a sphere can be calculated using the formula S = 4πr2. Additionally, when a plane intersects a sphere through its center, the resulting circle is known as a great circle and divides the sphere into two equal hemispheres. Keep these key takeaways in mind when working with spheres.

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