cube

cube, in geometry, regular solid bounded by six equal squares. All adjacent faces of a cube are perpendicular to each other; any one face of a cube may be its base. The dimensions of a cube are the lengths of the three edges which meet at any vertex. The volume of a cube is equal to the product of its dimensions, and since its dimensions are equal, the volume is equal to the third power, or cube, of any one of its dimensions. Hence, in arithmetic and algebra, the cube of a number or letter is that number or letter raised to the third power. For example, the cube of 4 is 43 = 4×4×4 = 64. The problem of constructing a cube with a volume equal to twice that of a given cube using only a compass and a straightedge is known as the problem of the duplication of the cube and is one of the famous geometric problems of antiquity. The cube, or hexahedron, is one of only five regular polyhedra (see polyhedron).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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