Difference between Section and Cross Section

Key Difference: The primary difference between a Section and a Cross Section is that a section refers to the ‘cutting of a solid by or along a plane’, whereas a cross section refers to the surface or the shape that is exposed by cutting through it.

Cross SectionsThe terms Section and Cross Section might often be used in mathematics or in design. However, it can be quite difficult to tell them apart as can seem quite similar at first glance. Both refer to having a closer look at something.

However, the primary difference between the two is that a section refers to the ‘cutting of a solid by or along a plane’, whereas a cross section refers to the surface or the shape that is exposed by cutting through it. 

The two terms are primarily used in mathematics and in design. In terms of design, the definition of the terms is slightly different. Here, a section refers to a close up or a particular section or part of the design. This can be any angle or of any part. A cross section, on the other hand, refers to a view of something that has been cut across to show the interior of the design.

Conic SectionsIn mathematics and geometry, the original definitions of the term are used, where a section refers to the process of cutting into a solid. The cut is typically made by or along a plane, which when cut through exposes the cross section, which refers to the shape that is visible after it has been cut through.  Depending on the plane that the object is cut, it may display different types of cross sections. For example: a cone cane be sectioned to display up to four different cross sections.

Comparison between Section and Cross Section:

 

Section

Cross Section

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

Any of the more or less distinct parts into which something is or may be divided or from which it is made up.

The cutting of a solid by or along a plane.

A representation of the internal structure of something as if it has been cut through vertically or horizontally.

A surface or shape exposed by making a straight cut through something, especially at right angles to an axis.

Cut

May or may not be cut into an object

Definitely cut into an object

Mathematics

When an object is cut into to show the inside

A shape or surface which is visible after cutting open an object

Design

A specific part of a design, can be just a close up or can be cut into

Cut across to show the insides of the design.\

Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Section and Cross Section), Wikipedia, MathisFun, WhatIs
Image Courtesy: byjus.com, wikimedia.org

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