Calculating the Volume of a Sphere

In this lesson, we'll use the concept of a definite integral to calculate the volume of a sphere. First, we'll find the volume of a hemisphere by taking the infinite sum of infinitesimally skinny cylinders enclosed inside of the hemisphere. Then we'll multiply our answer by two and we'll be done.

Volume of an Oblate Spheroid

In this lesson, we'll discuss how by using the concept of a definite integral one can calculate the volume of something called an oblate spheroid. An oblate spheroid is essentially just a sphere which is compressed or stretched along one of its dimensions while leaving its other two dimensions unchanged. For example, the Earth is technically not a sphere—it is an oblate spheroid. To find the volume of an oblate spheroid, we'll start out by finding the volume of a paraboloid . (If you cut an oblate spheroid in half, the two left over pieces would be paraboloids.) To do this, we'll draw an $$n$$ number of cylindrical shells inside of the paraboloid; by taking the Riemann sum of the volume of each cylindrical shell, we can obtain an estimate of the volume enclosed inside of the paraboloid. If we then take the limit of this sum as the number of cylindrical shells approaches infinity and their volumes approach zero, we'll obtain a definite integral which gives the exact volume inside of the paraboloid. After computing this definite integral, we'll multiply the result by two to get the volume of the oblate spheroid.