Last edited 12 Oct 2020



The term ‘volume’ generally refers to a measurement of a three-dimensional shape that is enclosed by a closed surface. It is used to specify the amount of space that a substance such as a solid, liquid or gas occupies.

As per the International System of Units (SI), the standard unit of volume is the cubic metre (m³). The cubic metre measurement indicates the volume contained within a cube the edges of which are all 1 m long.

To be able to calculate the volume of simple shapes (e.g. regular, right angled, straight-edged), arithmetic formulae can be used, such as:

Volume = length x width x height

Whereas, more complex shapes require integral calculus if there is a formula for the shape’s boundary.

The term ‘volume’ is also used in relation to sound levels, i.e. how loud or quiet a sound is. The higher the intensity of a sound, the louder it is perceived by the ear, and the higher its volume. Decibels (dB) are most commonly used as a measure of sound volume. The decibel scale gives an approximation of human perception of relative loudness.

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