Definition:Solid of Revolution

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Let $F$ be a plane figure.

Let $L$ be a straight line in the same plane as $F$.

Let $F$ be rotated one full turn about $L$ in $3$-dimensional space.

The solid of revolution generated by $F$ around $L$ is the solid figure whose boundaries are the paths taken by the sides of $F$ as they go round $L$.

The usual scenario is that:

$(1): \quad$ one of the sides of $F$ is a straight line coincident with $L$
$(2): \quad$ $L$ itself is aligned with one of the coordinate axes, usually the $x$-axis in a cartesian plane
$(3): \quad$ Two other sides of $F$ are also straight lines, perpendicular to $L$
$(4): \quad$ The remaining side (or sides) of $F$ are curved and described by means of a real function.


The above diagram shows a typical solid of revolution.

The plane figure $ABCD$ has been rotated $2 \pi$ radians around the $x$-axis.

$FECD$ illustrates the disposition of $ABCD$ part way round.

Axis of Revolution

The straight line is known as the axis of revolution.

Also known as

A solid of revolution is also known as a solid (or volume) of rotation.

Also see

  • Results about solids of revolution can be found here.