# 2006 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 24

## Problem

Centers of adjacent faces of a unit cube are joined to form a regular octahedron. What is the volume of this octahedron? $\mathrm{(A) \ } \frac{1}{8}\qquad\mathrm{(B) \ } \frac{1}{6}\qquad\mathrm{(C) \ } \frac{1}{4}\qquad\mathrm{(D) \ } \frac{1}{3}\qquad\mathrm{(E) \ } \frac{1}{2}\qquad$

## Solution

We can break the octahedron into two square pyramids by cutting it along a plane perpendicular to one of its internal diagonals. $[asy] import three; real r = 1/2; triple A = (-0.5,1.5,0); size(400); currentprojection=orthographic(1,1/4,1/2); draw((0,0,0)--(1,0,0)--(1,1,0)--(0,1,0)--(0,0,0)^^(0,0,1)--(1,0,1)--(1,1,1)--(0,1,1)--(0,0,1)^^(0,0,0)--(0,0,1)^^(1,0,0)--(1,0,1)^^(0,1,0)--(0,1,1)^^(1,1,0)--(1,1,1),gray(0.8)); draw((0,r,r)--(r,1,r)--(1,r,r)--(r,0,r)--cycle^^(r,r,0)--(0,r,r)--(r,r,1)--(r,1,r)--(r,r,0)--(1,r,r)--(r,r,1)--(r,0,r)--(r,r,0)); draw((0,r,r)+A--(r,1,r)+A--(1,r,r)+A--(r,0,r)+A--cycle^^(0,r,r)+A--(r,r,1)+A--(1,r,r)+A^^(r,1,r)+A--(r,r,1)+A--(r,0,r)+A); [/asy]$ The cube has edges of length 1 so all edges of the regular octahedron have length $\frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}$. Then the square base of the pyramid has area $\left(\frac{1}{2}\sqrt{2}\right)^2 = \frac{1}{2}$. We also know that the height of the pyramid is half the height of the cube, so it is $\frac{1}{2}$. The volume of a pyramid with base area $B$ and height $h$ is $A=\frac{1}{3}Bh$ so each of the pyramids has volume $\frac{1}{3}\left(\frac{1}{2}\right)\left(\frac{1}{2}\right) = \frac{1}{12}$. The whole octahedron is twice this volume, so $\frac{1}{12} \cdot 2 = \frac{1}{6} \Longrightarrow \mathrm{(B)}$.

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