Circumscribed sphere

Circumscribed sphere

In geometry, a circumscribed sphere of a polyhedron is a sphere that contains the polyhedron and touches each of the polyhedron's vertices. The word circumsphere is sometimes used to mean the same thing. When it exists, a circumscribed sphere need not be the smallest sphere containing the polyhedron; for instance, the tetrahedron formed by a vertex of a cube and its three neighbors has the same circumsphere as the cube itself, but can be contained within a smaller sphere having the three neighboring vertices on its equator.

All regular polyhedra have circumscribed spheres, but most irregular polyhedra do not have one, since in general not all vertices lie on a common sphere. It is possible to define the smallest containing sphere for such shapes.

The radius of sphere circumscribed around a polyhedron P is called the circumradius of P.

The circumscribed sphere is the three-dimensional analogue of the circumscribed circle.

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