Characteristics of Rectangular Pyramids

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A pyramid is a three-dimensional object consisting of a base and triangular faces that meet at a common vertex. A pyramid is classified as a polyhedron and is made up of plane faces, or faces that are level two-dimensional surfaces. A rectangular pyramid possesses specific characteristics, some of which are common to pyramids in general.

Base

A rectangular pyramid consists of one rectangular-shaped base. The pyramid is named after the shape of the base. For example, if the base of the pyramid is a hexagon, the pyramid is called a hexagonal pyramid.

Faces

A rectangular pyramid consists of five faces; one rectangular-shaped base and four triangular-shaped faces. Each triangular face is congruent to the opposite face. For example, on a rectangular pyramid where the edges of the rectangular base are labeled A, B, C and D, the triangular faces on edges A and C are congruent, while those on edges B and D are congruent.

Vertices

A rectangular pyramid consists of five vertices, or points at which edges intersect. One vertex is located at the top of the pyramid, where the four triangular faces meet. The remaining four vertices are located on each corner of the rectangular base. According to MathsTeacher.com, the pyramid becomes a right pyramid when the top vertex is "directly above the center of the base."

Edges

A rectangular pyramid consists of eight edges, or sharp sides "formed by the intersection of two surfaces," as defined by Word Net Web. Four edges are located on the rectangular base, while four edges form the upward slope to create the top vertex of the pyramid.

References

About the Author

Shelley Gray has been writing since 2005, with work appearing in the "Interlake Spectator" newspaper and "Manitoba Reading Association Journal." She has been an early years teacher since 2005 and is passionate about education and educational pedagogy. Gray has a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

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