A cone is a three-dimensional geometric shape that narrows from a flat circular base to a single point called apex or vertex. In other words, a cone can be formed by joining an infinite number of slanting lines to the circumference of a circle from a single point called the vertex. The distance from the vertex of a cone to the centre point of the base is known as the height of the cone. The length of the cone from the vertex to the boundary of the circular base is known as the slanting height. As kids, one of the most joyful occasions used to be our birthdays; which still remains joyful for all the kids. Kids love the feeling of standing behind the cake, wearing birthday caps, and smiling all their hearts out at the cameras. Isn’t it? Some kids make their birthday caps themselves with colourful sheets, origami paper, etc. Little do they know that it is right at the moment that geometrical shapes come into play. The birthday cap is conical in shape. Our homes, items of daily use, and whatever we come across has one geometrical shape or the other. A number of cone-shaped pieces of equipment and instruments are present in our homes, places we work, laboratories, etc. Let’s understand more about cones and their examples in real life.
Types of a Cone
1. Right Circular Cone
If the axis of a cone forms a right angle with the circular base, then such a cone is called a right circular cone. In other words, if the axis line of a cone passes through both the vertex and the centre of the circular base or when the vertex of the cone lies directly above the centre of the circular base then such a cone is called the right circular cone.
2. Oblique Cone
If the axis of a cone does not form a right angle with the circular base, then such a cone is called an oblique cone. Hence, the axis line of an oblique cone does not pass through both the vertex and the centre of the circular base. In other words, when the vertex of the cone is not located directly above the centre of the circular base then such a cone is called an oblique cone. The oblique cones are slightly tilted in nature.
Properties of a Cone
1. A cone has only one face, which is the circular base.
2. A cone has no edges.
3. A cone has only one apex or vertex point.
Formulae related to a Cone
1. The volume of the cone is given as ⅓ πr²h.
2. The total surface area of the cone is calculated as πr(l + r).
3. The length of the slant height of the cone can be obtained by evaluating √(r²+h²).
1. Ice-Cream Cones
These are the most familiar cones known to every child across the globe. One can easily visualise an infinite number of slanting lines joining the vertex or the base of the cone and the circumference of a circle or the top of the cone.
2. Birthday Caps
Children always glisten while wearing a birthday cap. Decorated and colourful birthday caps form yet another example of cones in daily life.
Prisms occupy an important place in optics. A triangular prism is used widely in physics labs for studying the basics of optics. The students are made familiar with refraction laws by demonstrating to them the bending of light with the use of a prism.
4. Traffic Cones
Traffic cones are also known as pylons or road cones. They are usually orange in colour and are painted with broad white stripes. The purpose of a traffic cone placed on the road is to redirect the traffic to ensure safety and avoid any mishap. The orange and white coloured cones that we see on roads and, sometimes, also in the playing field are in the shape of cones. They are made in conical shape because this particular geometric shape provides stability to the structure.
A funnel is a tube that is conical in shape and has a wide mouth at the top and a narrow opening at the bottom. This narrow opening is used to filter out liquids or any other material. Funnels are widely used in chemistry labs.
Teepee or tipi is a cone-shaped tent that is traditionally made up of animal skin supported on wooden poles. Nowadays, tipis are used by people during hiking. Moreover, present-day tipis are made of leather or other linen material.
7. Castle Turret
A turret is a small tower that projects from the main building. They were very popular in the Scottish region. Interestingly, the turret is nothing but a cone projecting out from a tower. They are mainly built for decorative purposes.
8. Temple Top
Most of the temples have their tops in a shape resembling a cone. This particular feature distinguishes the temple, and therefore, the temples can be seen from faraway places as well. Also, it is believed that conical shapes create a lot of positive energy.
You might have seen people cheering for their favourite players using megaphones. Megaphones are conical in shape. First, the cone shape of a megaphone directs the voice towards the target. When you speak, the sound produced from your mouth spreads in all directions at once. Only a part of your sound output goes in the direction of your intended target.
10. Pencil Tip
When we sharpen the pencil using a sharpener, the lead that gets sharpened is conical in shape. It provides a sharp and pinpointed head so that we can write. This helps us write neatly and clearly.
The carrots and radish that are consumed in salads are mostly conical in shape.
12. Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are a classic example of conical structures available in nature. Similarly, one can also visualise cone geometric shape by looking at other trees such as deodar, sugar pine, red spruce, etc.
Volcanos are one of the prime examples of cone-shaped objects existing in nature. The lava escapes out from the apex or the vertex of a volcano.
Some of the shells naturally occur in the shape of a cone. So if you pursue shell collecting as a hobby, you must have seen cone-shaped shells in real life.
15. Rocket Top
The top of a Rocket or an airplane is designed in the shape of a cone. The conical shape of the top helps the vehicle to reject or minimize the air resistance and take-off smoothly.
16. Drinking Glass
Martini or cocktail drinking glasses are usually shaped like an inverted cone. The apex of the conical cocktail glass is attached with a cylindrical rod that is further fixed to a circular disk forming the base of the glass.
17. Icing on the Top of a Cupcake
The icing placed on the top of a cupcake is generally shaped like a cone.
18. Fountain Firecrackers
Fountain firecrackers are a prominent example of conical objects used in everyday life.
18. Stack-a-Ring Toy
A stack-a-ring toy with all the rings stacked in ascending order from top to bottom forms a classic example of cone-shaped objects present in real life.
19. Rice Hat
Rice hat is an Asian traditional hat also known as coolie hat. It is quite popular in southeastern parts of Asia. It is conical in shape. Hence, they constitute a perfect example of cone-shaped objects used in everyday life.
20. Russian Dolls
Matryoshka doll or the Russian dolls is a representation of Russian culture. Some of these dolls are conical in shape.
21. Paper Cup
Some of the paper cups are shaped like a cone. Such cups are suitable for quick drinking. Also, conical paper cups are easy to hold and drink from. The only limitation of using a conical paper cup is that it cannot be placed on a flat surface.