What is a prism?

By Kris Boulton on the 11th of June, 2012

3 Answers

  • 1

    The most common visualisation of a prism is like a toblerone box but it can be based around any 2d shape. in a prism the cross section (front face) is constant.

    Refine By Kim Fox on the 11th of June, 2012

  • 1

    prism is a polyhedron, with two parallel faces called bases. The other faces are always parallelograms. The prism is named by the shape of its base.A prism is a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light

    Refine By jagadish on the 14th of January, 2013

  • 1
    1. Prism is a solid geometric figure whose two end faces are similar, equal, and parallel rectilinear figures, and whose sides are parallelograms. Its also defined as a glass or other transparent object in this form, esp. one that is triangular with refracting surfaces at an acute angle with each other.

    Refine By Cecil on the 15th of January, 2013

Suggested reading…

Calculate the volume of prisms and cylinders

How to calculate the volume of prisms and cylinders

A prism is a 3D shape where its cross-section is the same along it’s length. In other words, if you cut a prism anywhere along its length, the shape formed is identical to the ends of the prism.

For example, a prism with a square cross-section is a cuboid, a circle cross-section gives a cylinder and a triangle prism gives a triangular prism!


The base multiplied by the length (l) gives the volume of a prism.


The base is either end of the prism, and is an area (units are in cm2!), when multipled by length it gives the volume 3 dimensions and is in cm3


For example, the volume of a cyclinder is V = (2πr) x length

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