Another geometric question that arises naturally is: "What is the surface area of a volume?'' For example, what is the surface area of a sphere? More advanced techniques are required to approach this question in general, but we can compute the areas of some volumes generated by revolution.

As usual, the question is: how might we approximate the surface area? For a surface obtained by rotating a curve around an axis, we can take a polygonal approximation to the curve, as in the last section, and rotate it around the same axis. This gives a surface composed of many "truncated cones;'' a truncated cone is called a frustum of a cone. Figure 9.10.1 illustrates this approximation.