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What does cm^2 & cm^3 mean?

  1. Jan 16, 2012 #1
    I know cm^2 is centimeter squared & cm^3 is centimeter cubed, but what does it means?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2012 #2
    the first one means a square and the other one means a cube (box).

    1 cm^2 means 1 square and each side is 1 centimeter long.

    1 cm^3 means 1 box and each side of the box is 1 centimeter long.

    For instance, if you make a square where each side is 5 cm, then you have a square that is 5cm^2. And 5^2 means 25, and that means you can fit 25 little 1cm^2 squares inside the big square that is 5cm^2.

    And if you have a cube (box) whre each side is 5 cm, then you have a cube that is 5 cm^3. And since 5^3 means 5x5x5 = 125, that means you can fit 125 little 1cm^3 cubes inside that bigger square that is 5cm^3.
  4. Jan 22, 2012 #3
    I think you mean box, not square...?
  5. Jan 22, 2012 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    cm2 is area.
    cm3 is volumn.

    A cube with 1cm long edges has sides with area 1 cm2 and a volumn of 1 cm3.
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