Thus he devoted some attention to the quadrature of surfaces and the cubature of solids, which he accomplished, in some of the simpler cases, by an original method which he called the "Method of Indivisibles"; but he lost much of the credit of the discovery as he kept his method for his own use,while Bonaventura Cavalieri published a similar method which he himself had invented.
Mensuration, then, is mainly concerned with quadratureformulae and cubature formulae, and, to a not very clearly defined extent, with the methods of obtaining such formulae; a quadrature-formula being a formula for calculating the numerical representation of an area, and a cubature-formula being a formula for calculating the numerical representation of a volume, in terms, in each case, of the numerical representations of particular data which determine the area or the volume.
On the other hand, it is worth noticing that the words " quadrature " and " cubature " are originally due to geometrical rather than numerical considerations; the former implying the construction of a square whose area shall be equal to that of a given surface, and the latter the construction of a cube whose volume shall be equal to that of a given solid.
Quadrature-formulae or cubature-formulae may sometimes be conveniently replaced by formulae giving the mean ordinate or mean section.
The terms quadratureformula and cubature-formula are sometimes restricted to formulae for expressing the area of a trapezette, or the volume of a briquette, in terms of such data.
Thus a quadrature-formula is a formula for expressing [A x .24] or fudx in terms of a series of given values of u, while a cubature-formula is a formula for expressing [[Vx, 0 .
In mensuration, "cubature" is sometimes used to denote the volume of a solid; the word is parallel with "quadrature," to determine the area of a surface (see Mensuration; Infinitesimal Calculus) .