Before determining how to find the volume of a sphere, you must first understand the structure of a sphere. A sphere is a three-dimensional circle:
The center of a sphere is marked by a point, similar to the nucleus of an atom. The radius r of the sphere represents how far away that given point is from the surface of the sphere. No matter which direction the radius of the sphere points, its length will always reach the outside surface of the sphere.
How to Find the Volume of a Sphere
The volume of a sphere represents the amount of space it takes up in three-dimensional shape.
When you calculate volume, the result should always be cubic units — cubic centimeters, cubic inches, cubic meters, cubic feet, etc.
Here is the volume of a sphere formula:
As you can see, the volume equals 4/3 times pi times the radius of a sphere cubed.
Now that you know the formula, let's calculate the volume of the sphere below:
The radius of this sphere is 4 inches. So, let's plug this in to solve for the volume of the sphere:
Applying the Volume of a Sphere
Once you understand the parts of a sphere, it’s easy to see how to find the volume of a sphere. By plugging a radius into the sphere formula, you can determine its volume in cubic centimeters, inches, meters, or feet.
Understanding how to find the volume of a sphere allows you to tackle more complex equations, like the volume of a cylinder, pyramid, or cone.