# Sphere vs. Hemisphere — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 30, 2024
A sphere is a perfectly round 3D shape, while a hemisphere is half of a sphere, typically divided along a great circle.

## Key Differences

A sphere is a three-dimensional object where every point on the surface is equidistant from the center, resulting in a perfectly round shape. On the other hand, a hemisphere is essentially half of a sphere, usually divided by a plane passing through the center, creating a flat surface on one side and a curved surface on the other.
Spheres are often used in mathematics and physics to model objects that are perfectly round, such as planets and balls, whereas hemispheres are used to describe phenomena or objects that are half spherical, like the Earth's Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
In terms of surface area and volume, the calculations for a sphere involve the radius squared and cubed, respectively, indicating a uniformity in all directions. In contrast, the hemisphere's calculations adjust for its partial nature, integrating the flat circular base's area in addition to the curved surface area.
The concept of a sphere is fundamental in geometry as it represents symmetry across all axes. A hemisphere, while still symmetrical along the plane that divides it, introduces the concept of partiality and is a key concept in understanding global geography and atmospheric divisions.
Spheres can symbolize wholeness or completeness in various cultural and philosophical contexts, while hemispheres are often used to represent duality or two halves of a whole, illustrating how these forms can convey different meanings beyond their geometric properties.

## Comparison Chart

### Shape

Perfectly round 3D object
Half of a sphere

### Surface

Curved everywhere
Curved on one side, flat on the other

### Symmetry

Symmetrical in all directions
Symmetrical along the dividing plane

### Use

Models planets, balls
Represents Earth's halves, brain sections

### Meaning

Symbolizes wholeness
Represents duality, halves of a whole

## Compare with Definitions

#### Sphere

A geometric shape where all points on the surface are equidistant from the center.
A basketball is a perfect example of a sphere.

#### Hemisphere

In geography, it refers to each half of the Earth, divided by the equator or a meridian.
Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere.

#### Sphere

A body or space rounded in form.
The sphere of a bubble is delicate and transparent.

#### Hemisphere

Represents a partial or incomplete aspect of something that is otherwise whole.
The lunar hemisphere facing the Earth is called the near side.

#### Sphere

Symbolically, it represents completeness or the universe.
The ancient philosophers contemplated the heavens as a series of concentric spheres.

#### Hemisphere

Half of a sphere divided by a plane through its center.
The globe can be split into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

#### Sphere

In mathematics, it refers to the set of points in three-dimensional space at a given distance from a point.
The equation x² + y² + z² = r² describes a sphere in 3D coordinate space.

#### Hemisphere

Often used metaphorically to describe two sides of an argument or situation.
The debate presented two hemispheres of opinion on the matter.

#### Sphere

In astronomy, celestial bodies like planets and stars are often idealized as spheres.
The Earth is not a perfect sphere due to its equatorial bulge.

#### Hemisphere

In anatomy, the brain is divided into the right and left hemispheres.
The left hemisphere of the brain controls language and analytical thought.

#### Sphere

A sphere (from Greek σφαῖρα—sphaira, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space that is the surface of a ball (viz., analogous to the circular objects in two dimensions, where a "circle" circumscribes its "disk"). Like a circle in a two-dimensional space, a sphere is defined mathematically as the set of points that are all at the same distance r from a given point in a three-dimensional space.

#### Hemisphere

A half of a sphere bounded by a great circle.

#### Sphere

A round solid figure, or its surface, with every point on its surface equidistant from its centre.

#### Hemisphere

A half of a symmetrical, approximately spherical object as divided by a plane of symmetry.

#### Sphere

An area of activity, interest, or expertise; a section of society or an aspect of life distinguished and unified by a particular characteristic
Political reforms to match those in the economic sphere

#### Hemisphere

Either half of the celestial sphere as divided by the ecliptic, the celestial equator, or the horizon.

#### Sphere

Enclose in or as if in a sphere
Mourners, sphered by their dark garb

#### Hemisphere

Either the northern or southern half of the earth as divided by the equator or the eastern or western half as divided by a meridian.

#### Sphere

(Mathematics) A three-dimensional surface, all points of which are equidistant from a fixed point.

#### Hemisphere

Either of the lateral halves of the cerebrum; a cerebral hemisphere.

#### Sphere

A spherical object or figure.

#### Hemisphere

Either of the lateral halves of the cerebellum; a cerebellar hemisphere.

#### Sphere

A celestial body, such as a planet or star.

#### Hemisphere

Half of the celestial sphere, as divided by either the ecliptic or the celestial equator .

#### Sphere

The sky, appearing as a hemisphere to an observer
The sphere of the heavens.

#### Hemisphere

(figuratively) A realm or domain of activity .

#### Sphere

Any of a series of concentric, transparent, revolving globes that together were once thought to contain the moon, sun, planets, and stars.

#### Hemisphere

(geography) Half of the Earth, such as the Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere or Eastern Hemisphere, Land Hemisphere, Water Hemisphere etc. .

#### Sphere

A range or extent of knowledge, interest, or activity
A problem that falls within the sphere of biophysics.

#### Hemisphere

(geometry) Any half-sphere, formed by a plane intersecting the center of a sphere. .

#### Sphere

A social level or part of society or group
Knew few people beyond his partner's sphere.

#### Hemisphere

(cartography) A map or projection of a celestial or terrestrial hemisphere .

#### Sphere

A range of power or influence
Within the sphere of the empire.

#### Hemisphere

(anatomy) Either of the two halves of the cerebrum. .

#### Sphere

To form into a sphere.

#### Hemisphere

A half sphere; one half of a sphere or globe, when divided by a plane passing through its center.

#### Sphere

To put in or within a sphere.

#### Hemisphere

Half of the terrestrial globe, or a projection of the same in a map or picture.

#### Sphere

(mathematics) A regular three-dimensional object in which every cross-section is a circle; the figure described by the revolution of a circle about its diameter . Category:en:Surfaces

#### Hemisphere

The people who inhabit a hemisphere.
He died . . . mourned by a hemisphere.

#### Sphere

A spherical physical object; a globe or ball.

#### Hemisphere

Half of the terrestrial globe

#### Sphere

The apparent outer limit of space; the edge of the heavens, imagined as a hollow globe within which celestial bodies appear to be embedded.

Half of a sphere

#### Sphere

Any of the concentric hollow transparent globes formerly believed to rotate around the Earth, and which carried the heavenly bodies; there were originally believed to be eight, and later nine and ten; friction between them was thought to cause a harmonious sound (the music of the spheres).

#### Hemisphere

Either half of the cerebrum

#### Sphere

(mythology) An area of activity for a planet; or by extension, an area of influence for a god, hero etc.

#### Sphere

(figuratively) The region in which something or someone is active; one's province, domain.

#### Sphere

(geometry) The set of all points in three-dimensional Euclidean space (or n-dimensional space, in topology) that are a fixed distance from a fixed point .

#### Sphere

(logic) The extension of a general conception, or the totality of the individuals or species to which it may be applied.

#### Sphere

(transitive) To place in a sphere, or among the spheres; to ensphere.

#### Sphere

(transitive) To make round or spherical; to perfect.

#### Sphere

A body or space contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point within called its center.

#### Sphere

Hence, any globe or globular body, especially a celestial one, as the sun, a planet, or the earth.
Of celestial bodies, first the sun,A mighty sphere, he framed.

#### Sphere

The apparent surface of the heavens, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere equally distant, in which the heavenly bodies appear to have their places, and on which the various astronomical circles, as of right ascension and declination, the equator, ecliptic, etc., are conceived to be drawn; an ideal geometrical sphere, with the astronomical and geographical circles in their proper positions on it.

#### Sphere

The extension of a general conception, or the totality of the individuals or species to which it may be applied.

#### Sphere

Circuit or range of action, knowledge, or influence; compass; province; employment; place of existence.
To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in 't.
Taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself.
Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woeOur hermit spirits dwell.

#### Sphere

Rank; order of society; social positions.

#### Sphere

An orbit, as of a star; a socket.

#### Sphere

To place in a sphere, or among the spheres; to insphere.
The glorious planet SolIn noble eminence enthroned and spheredAmidst the other.

#### Sphere

To form into roundness; to make spherical, or spheral; to perfect.

#### Sphere

A particular environment or walk of life;
His social sphere is limited
It was a closed area of employment
He's out of my orbit

#### Sphere

Any spherically shaped artifact

#### Sphere

The geographical area in which one nation is very influential

#### Sphere

A particular aspect of life or activity;
He was helpless in an important sector of his life

#### Sphere

A solid figure bounded by a spherical surface (including the space it encloses)

#### Sphere

A three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from the center

#### Sphere

The apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected

## Common Curiosities

#### How are spheres used in real life?

Spheres are used to model perfectly round objects in various fields, such as planets in astronomy and balls in sports.

#### Can a sphere be divided into multiple hemispheres?

Yes, a sphere can be divided into multiple hemispheres, but typically "hemisphere" refers to one of two halves.

#### How is the surface area of a sphere calculated compared to a hemisphere?

The surface area of a sphere is calculated using 4πr², while a hemisphere’s surface area includes both the curved surface and the area of the circular base.

#### How do spheres and hemispheres relate to each other?

Hemispheres are derived from spheres; dividing a sphere along a great circle results in two hemispheres.

#### What defines a hemisphere?

A hemisphere is defined as half of a sphere, typically divided along a great circle, with one flat face and one curved face.

#### What is the significance of hemispheres in geography?

Hemispheres in geography help in understanding Earth's climatic zones, seasonal changes, and time zones.

#### What is a sphere?

A sphere is a three-dimensional shape where all points on the surface are equally distant from the center, forming a perfectly round object.

#### Are hemispheres only geographical terms?

No, hemispheres can refer to any half of a spherical object, including aspects of anatomy like the brain's hemispheres.

#### Do spheres and hemispheres have the same volume formula?

No, the formula for a sphere’s volume is (4/3)πr³, while a hemisphere's volume is half that of a sphere.

#### How does symmetry differ between a sphere and a hemisphere?

A sphere exhibits symmetry in all directions, whereas a hemisphere is only symmetrical along the plane that divides it.

#### What metaphorical meanings can spheres and hemispheres hold?

Spheres often symbolize wholeness and universality, while hemispheres can represent duality or complementarity in various contexts.

#### Is Earth a sphere or a hemisphere?

Earth is a sphere, but it can be divided into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres for geographical and climatic studies.

#### Can the concept of a hemisphere apply to non-geographical spheres?

Yes, the concept of a hemisphere can apply to any sphere, including anatomical and astronomical examples.

#### What does the flat surface of a hemisphere represent?

The flat surface of a hemisphere represents the division of a sphere into two equal halves.

#### Why are planets not perfect spheres?

Planets are not perfect spheres due to rotation, which causes an equatorial bulge, making them oblate spheroids.

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