# Volume Problem Solving

To solve problems on this page, you should be familiar with the following:

This wiki includes several problems motivated to enhance problem-solving skills. Before getting started, recall the following formulas:

- Volume of sphere with radius \(r:\) \( \frac43 \pi r^3 \)
- Volume of cube with side length \(L:\) \( L^3 \)
- Volume of cone with radius \(r\) and height \(h:\) \( \frac13\pi r^2h \)
- Volume of cylinder with radius \(r\) and height \(h:\) \( \pi r^2h\)
- Volume of a cuboid with length \(l\), breadth \(b\), and height \(h:\) \(lbh\)

#### Contents

## Volume Problem Solving - Basic

This section revolves around the basic understanding of volume and using the formulas for finding the volume. A couple of examples are followed by several problems to try.

## Find the volume of a cube of side length \(10\text{ cm}\).

\[\begin{align} (\text {Volume of a cube}) & = {(\text {Side length}})^{3}\\ & = {10}^{3}\\ & = 1000 ~\big(\text{cm}^{3}\big).\ _\square \end{align}\]

## Find the volume of a cuboid of length \(10\text{ cm}\), breadth \(8\text{ cm}\). and height \(6\text{ cm}\).

\[\begin{align} (\text {Area of a cuboid}) & = l × b × h\\ & = 10 × 8 × 6\\ & = 480 ~\big(\text{cm}^{3}\big).\ _\square \end{align}\]

## I made a large ice cream cone of a composite shape of a cone and a hemisphere. If the height of the cone is 10 and the diameter of both the cone and the hemisphere is 6, what is the volume of this ice cream cone?

The volume of the composite figure is the sum of the volume of the cone and the volume of the hemisphere.

Recall the formulas for the following two volumes: \( V_{\text{cone}} = \frac13 \pi r^2 h\) and \( V_{\text{sphere}} =\frac43 \pi r^3 \). Since the volume of a hemisphere is half the volume of a a sphere of the same radius, the total volume for this problem is

\[\frac13 \pi r^2 h + \frac12 \cdot \frac43 \pi r^3. \]

With height \(h =10\), and diameter \(d = 6\) or radius \(r = \frac d2 = 3 \), the total volume is \(48\pi. \ _\square \)

## Find the volume of a cone having slant height \(17\text{ cm}\) and radius of the base \(15\text{ cm}\).

Let \(h\) denote the height of the cone, then

\[\begin{align} (\text{slant height}) &=\sqrt {h^2 + r^2}\\ 17&= \sqrt {h^2 + 15^2}\\ 289&= h^2 + 225\\ h^2&=64\\ h& = 8. \end{align}\]

Since the formula for the volume of a cone is \(\dfrac {1}{3} ×\pi ×r^2×h\), the volume of the cone is

\[ \frac {1}{3}×3.14× 225 × 8= 1884 ~\big(\text{cm}^{2}\big). \ _\square\]

## Find the volume of the following figure which depicts a cone and an hemisphere, up to \(2\) decimal places. In this figure, the shape of the base of the cone is circular and the whole flat part of the hemisphere exactly coincides with the base of the cone (in other words, the base of the cone and the flat part of the hemisphere are the same).

Use \(\pi=\frac{22}{7}.\)

\[\begin{align} (\text{Volume of cone}) & = \dfrac {1}{3} \pi r^2 h\\ & = \dfrac {1 × 22 × 36 × 8}{3 × 7}\\ & = \dfrac {6336}{21} = 301.71 \\\\ (\text{Volume of hemisphere}) & = \dfrac {2}{3} \pi r^3\\ & = \dfrac {2 × 22 × 216}{3 × 7}\\ & = \dfrac {9504}{21} = 452.57 \\\\ (\text{Total volume of figure}) & = (301.71 + 452.57) \\ & = 754.28.\ _\square \end{align} \]

Try the following problems.

A chocolate shop sells its products in 3 different shapes: a cylindrical bar, a spherical ball, and a cone. These 3 shapes are of the same height and radius, as shown in the picture. Which of these choices would give you the most chocolate?

\[\text{ I. A full cylindrical bar } \hspace{.4cm} \text{ or } \hspace{.45cm} \text{ II. A ball plus a cone }\]

## Volume - Problem Solving - Intermediate

This section involves a deeper understanding of volume and the formulas to find the volume. Here are a couple of worked out examples followed by several "Try It Yourself" problems:

\(12\) spheres of the same size are made from melting a solid cylinder of \(16\text{ cm}\) diameter and \(2\text{ cm}\) height. Find the diameter of each sphere.

Use \(\pi=\frac{22}{7}.\)

The volume of the cylinder is

\[\pi× r^2 × h = \frac {22×8^2×2}{7}= \frac {2816}{7}.\]

Let the radius of each sphere be \(r\text{ cm}.\) Then the volume of each sphere in \(\text{cm}^3\) is

\[\dfrac {4×22×r^3}{3×7} = \dfrac{88×r^3}{21}.\]

Since the number of spheres is \(\frac {\text{Volume of cylinder}}{\text {Volume of 1 sphere}},\)

\[\begin{align} 12 &= \dfrac{2816×21}{7×88×r^3}\\ &= \dfrac {96}{r^3}\\

r^3 &= \dfrac {96}{12}\\ &= 8\\ \Rightarrow r &= 2. \end{align}\]Therefore, the diameter of each sphere is \[2\times r = 2\times 2 = 4 ~(\text{cm}). \ _\square\]

## Find the volume of a hemispherical shell whose outer radius is \(7\text{ cm}\) and inner radius is \(3\text{ cm}\), up to \(2\) decimal places.

We have

\[\begin{align} (\text {Volume of inner hemisphere}) & = \dfrac{1}{2} × \dfrac{4}{3} × \pi × R^3\\ & = \dfrac {1 × 4 × 22 × 27}{2 × 3 × 7}\\ & = \dfrac {396}{7}\\ & = 56.57 ~\big(\text{cm}^{3}\big) \\\\ (\text {Volume of outer hemisphere}) & = \dfrac{1}{2} × \dfrac{4}{3} × \pi × r^3\\ & = \dfrac {1 × 4 × 22 × 343}{2 × 3 × 7}\\ & = \dfrac {2156}{7}\\ & = 718.66 ~\big(\text{cm}^{3}\big) \\\\ (\text{Volume of hemispherical shell}) & = (\text{V. of outer hemisphere}) - (\text{V. of inner hemisphere})\\ & = 718.66 - 56.57 \\ & = 662.09 ~\big(\text{cm}^{3}\big).\ _\square \end{align}\]

Try the following problems.

A student did an experiment using a cone, a sphere, and a cylinder each having the same radius and height. He started with the cylinder full of liquid and then poured it into the cone until the cone was full. Then, he began pouring the remaining liquid from the cylinder into the sphere. What was the result which he observed?

There are two identical right circular cones each of height \(2\text{ cm}.\) They are placed vertically, with their apex pointing downwards, and one cone is vertically above the other. At the start, the upper cone is full of water and the lower cone is empty.

Water drips down through a hole in the apex of the upper cone into the lower cone. When the height of water in the upper cone is \(1\text{ cm},\) what is the height of water in the lower cone (in \(\text{cm}\))?

Consider a glass in the shape of an inverted truncated right cone (i.e. frustrum). The radius of the base is 4, the radius of the top is 9, and the height is 7. There is enough water in the glass such that when it is tilted the water reaches from the tip of the base to the edge of the top. The proportion of the water in the cup as a ratio of the cup's volume can be expressed as the fraction \( \frac{m}{n} \), for relatively prime integers \(m\) and \(n\). Compute \(m+n\).

## Volume Problem Solving - Advanced

Please remember this section contains highly advanced problems of volume. Here it goes:

Cube \(ABCDEFGH\), labeled as shown above, has edge length \(1\) and is cut by a plane passing through vertex \(D\) and the midpoints \(M\) and \(N\) of \(\overline{AB}\) and \(\overline{CG}\) respectively. The plane divides the cube into two solids. The volume of the larger of the two solids can be written in the form \(\frac{p}{q}\), where \(p\) and \(q\) are relatively prime positive integers. Find \(p+q\).

If the American NFL regulation football

has a tip-to-tip length of \(11\) inches and a largest round circumference of \(22\) in the middle, then the volume of the American football is \(\text{____________}.\)

Note: The American NFL regulation football is not an ellipsoid. The long cross-section consists of two circular arcs meeting at the tips. Don't use the volume formula for an ellipsoid.

Answer is in cubic inches.

Consider a tetrahedron with side lengths \(2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5\). The largest possible volume of this tetrahedron has the form \( \frac {a \sqrt{b}}{c}\), where \(b\) is an integer that's not divisible by the square of any prime, \(a\) and \(c\) are positive, coprime integers. What is the value of \(a+b+c\)?

## See Also

**Cite as:**Volume Problem Solving.

*Brilliant.org*. Retrieved from https://brilliant.org/wiki/volume-problem-solving-easy/