The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF.
Similarly the largest. . . .
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
Prove Pythagoras Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a
square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked
with dots lie on one line?
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line
splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side
lengths for the original right-angled triangle?
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
A floor is covered by a tessellation of equilateral triangles, each having three equal arcs inside it. What proportion of the area of the tessellation is shaded?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a
pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which
can be rearranged into another square.
Liethagoras, Pythagoras' cousin (!), was jealous of Pythagoras and came up with his own theorem. Read this article to find out why other mathematicians laughed at him.
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
A tennis ball is served from directly above the baseline (assume
the ball travels in a straight line). What is the minimum height
that the ball can be hit at to ensure it lands in the service area?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB
and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q
such that APCQ is a rhombus.
A circle touches the lines OA, OB and AB where OA and OB are
perpendicular. Show that the diameter of the circle is equal to the
perimeter of the triangle
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
Draw two circles, each of radius 1 unit, so that each circle goes
through the centre of the other one. What is the area of the
If the altitude of an isosceles triangle is 8 units and the perimeter of the triangle is 32 units.... What is the area of the triangle?
Explain how the thirteen pieces making up the regular hexagon shown
in the diagram can be re-assembled to form three smaller regular
hexagons congruent to each other.
Equal circles can be arranged so that each circle touches four or
six others. What percentage of the plane is covered by circles in
each packing pattern? ...
What remainders do you get when square numbers are divided by 4?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Pythagoras of Samos was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 580 BC to about 500 BC. Find out about the important developments he made in mathematics, astronomy, and the theory of music.
A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the
largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
Is the sum of the squares of two opposite sloping edges of a
rectangular based pyramid equal to the sum of the squares of the
other two sloping edges?
Prove that a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 6 has the same area as a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 8. Find other pairs of non-congruent isosceles triangles which have equal areas.
ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.
How many right-angled triangles are there with sides that are all
integers less than 100 units?
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find
the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the
I keep three circular medallions in a rectangular box in which they
just fit with each one touching the other two. The smallest one has
radius 4 cm and touches one side of the box, the middle sized. . . .
ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP
: PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED.
What is the area of the triangle PQR?
This article for pupils and teachers looks at a number that even the great mathematician, Pythagoras, found terrifying.
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
A dot starts at the point (1,0) and turns anticlockwise. Can you
estimate the height of the dot after it has turned through 45
degrees? Can you calculate its height?
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord
which is tangent to the inner circle.
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is,
satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in
a circle with a unit radius?
A fire-fighter needs to fill a bucket of water from the river and
take it to a fire. What is the best point on the river bank for the
fire-fighter to fill the bucket ?.
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of
circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the
holly leaf and the area of its surface.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Read all about Pythagoras' mathematical discoveries in this article written for students.
Three squares are drawn on the sides of a triangle ABC. Their areas
are respectively 18 000, 20 000 and 26 000 square centimetres. If
the outer vertices of the squares are joined, three more. . . .