surface

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surface

In geometry, a two-dimensional collection of points (flat surface), a three-dimensional collection of points whose cross section is a curve (curved surface), or the boundary of any three-dimensional solid. In general, a surface is a continuous boundary dividing a three-dimensional space into two regions. For example, the surface of a sphere separates the interior from the exterior; a horizontal plane separates the half-plane above it from the half-plane below. Surfaces are often called by the names of the regions they enclose, but a surface is essentially two-dimensional and has an area, while the region it encloses is three-dimensional and has a volume. The attributes of surfaces, and in particular the idea of curvature, are investigated in differential geometry.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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