How do you calculate surface area to volume ratio?   Please explain in simple terms, including method. Thank You!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First, lets make sure we understand the word "ratio".  A ratio is a comparison of any two things, usually in numerical form.  We could compare the number of boys in one of my classes to the number of girls.  We could compare the number of teachers to the number of...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

First, lets make sure we understand the word "ratio".  A ratio is a comparison of any two things, usually in numerical form.  We could compare the number of boys in one of my classes to the number of girls.  We could compare the number of teachers to the number of students.  So a ratio is simply a comparison of two things.  The two things here are surface area compared to volume.  Usually, the surface area will be a larger number, or represent a larger quantity than does the volume number.  Lets say we have a cube that is 2 meters in length, width, and height.  To get the surface area of the 6 sides of the cube, multiply the length times the width, which would be 4 square meters. then multiply times 6 for the 6 sides, which would be 24 square meters.  To get the volume, multiply the length times the width times the height, which would be 8 cubic meters.  So the ratio here would be 24 to 8, or 3 to 1.  We would express this mathematically as 3:1.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team