What is Volume?

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Most people will have come across the term volume and most of them relate it to the level of audio output. Though this may be the more common meaning and use of the term in everyday speech, there are other meanings to the word. The meaning of the term is unique in mathematics, IT, publication as well as science and can be defined as follows in each of these fields.

Mathematically and scientifically, volume is defined as the amount of three dimensional space occupied by any matter. It can also be presented as, the three dimensional space enclosed by any shape whether regular or irregular. This means the height, width and length occupied by matter or the length, width and height enclosed by a shape. Volume here is commonly measured in units of cubic meters. The state of matter is not significant in measuring its volume. Ten cubic meters of a gas is equal to ten cubic meters of a solid. There is a difference however in the formulas used to calculate volume though this again is regardless of state. These formulas are dictated by the shape of the space that the matter occupies. Regular shapes are easier to calculate while irregular shapes have more complex formulas. However all these formulas will always factor the three dimensions of volume which are height, width and length.

Another common meaning of the word volume is when used in the publication industry. Here the term volume is applied to give identification to part of a set or collection among a series of similar or consecutive works. Progressive publications that form part of a story line or that relate to each other in one way or another may be identified in terms of volumes. Each volume will normally be a continuation or an improvement of a previous one. Other times the publications may simply be from the same source and the volume here will simply serve to number for purposes of easily identifying older and newer publications.

Volume as defined in IT is slightly more complicated as compared to other definitions. Here it is used to define a particular data storage area. The storage area is usually part of a date storage component such as a hard disk which can be partitioned into several volumes. Each volume will have space which will be reduced as more data is stored in that particular volume. Here it is similar to the mathematical volume as you can actually fill up the space though it will not be three dimensional as in the mathematical arena.

When you consider all these definitions of volume you realize that this is one of the most versatile terms that have technical application. Most of its applications will relate to quantity and space. Other meanings of the word include, when talking of the volume of shares traded it refers to the number of shares traded. When a recipe indicates you need to add two volumes of an ingredient, it refers to a relative quantity.
Understanding the context in which it is used will help you in knowing the meaning to apply.


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