|Set of pyramidal right n-gonal frustums
|n isosceles trapezoids, 2 regular n-gons
|Cnv, [1,n], (*nn)
|Example: net of right trigonal frustum (n = 3)
In geometry, a frustum (Latin for 'morsel');[a] (pl.: frusta or frustums) is the portion of a solid (normally a pyramid or a cone) that lies between two parallel planes cutting the solid. In the case of a pyramid, the base faces are polygonal and the side faces are trapezoidal. A right frustum is a right pyramid or a right cone truncated perpendicularly to its axis; otherwise, it is an oblique frustum. In a truncated cone or truncated pyramid, the truncation plane is not necessarily parallel to the cone's base, as in a frustum. If all its edges are forced to become of the same length, then a frustum becomes a prism (possibly oblique or/and with irregular bases).
The formula for the volume of a pyramidal square frustum was introduced by the ancient Egyptian mathematics in what is called the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus, written in the 13th dynasty (c. 1850 BC):
where a and b are the base and top side lengths, and h is the height.
The Egyptians knew the correct formula for the volume of such a truncated square pyramid, but no proof of this equation is given in the Moscow papyrus.
The volume of a conical or pyramidal frustum is the volume of the solid before slicing its "apex" off, minus the volume of this "apex":
where B1 and B2 are the base and top areas, and h1 and h2 are the perpendicular heights from the apex to the base and top planes.
the formula for the volume can be expressed as the third of the product of this proportionality, , and of the difference of the cubes of the heights h1 and h2 only:
By using the identity a3 − b3 = (a − b)(a2 + ab + b2), one gets:
where h1 − h2 = h is the height of the frustum.
Distributing and substituting from its definition, the Heronian mean of areas B1 and B2 is obtained:
the alternative formula is therefore:
Heron of Alexandria is noted for deriving this formula, and with it, encountering the imaginary unit: the square root of negative one.
For a right circular conical frustum
where r1 and r2 are the base and top radii respectively, and s is the slant height of the frustum.
The surface area of a right frustum whose bases are similar regular n-sided polygons is
where a1 and a2 are the sides of the two bases.