The net of a cube is to be cut from a sheet of card 100 cm square.
What is the maximum volume cube that can be made from a single
piece of card?
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six
pointed star and an eight pointed star.
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
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?
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?
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point
of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the
square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between
them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
There are thirteen axes of rotational symmetry of a unit cube. Describe them all. What is the average length of the parts of the axes of symmetry which lie inside the cube?
A ladder 3m long rests against a wall with one end a short distance from its base. Between the wall and the base of a ladder is a garden storage box 1m tall and 1m high. What is the maximum distance. . . .
Given any three non intersecting circles in the plane find another
circle or straight line which cuts all three circles orthogonally.
A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the
largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?
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.
Shows that Pythagoras for Spherical Triangles reduces to
Pythagoras's Theorem in the plane when the triangles are small
relative to the radius of the sphere.
Re-arrange the pieces of the puzzle to form a rectangle and then to
form an equilateral triangle. Calculate the angles and lengths.
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. . . .
ABCD is a rectangle and P, Q, R and S are moveable points on the
edges dividing the edges in certain ratios. Strangely PQRS is
always a cyclic quadrilateral and you can find the angles.
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.
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
In a right-angled tetrahedron prove that the sum of the squares of
the areas of the 3 faces in mutually perpendicular planes equals
the square of the area of the sloping face. A generalisation. . . .
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Draw a square and an arc of a circle and construct the Golden
rectangle. Find the value of the Golden Ratio.
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
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
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.
You are given a circle with centre O. Describe how to construct with a straight edge and a pair of compasses, two other circles centre O so that the three circles have areas in the ratio 1:2:3.
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?
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?
What remainders do you get when square numbers are divided by 4?
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.
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? ...
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?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Four circles all touch each other and a circumscribing circle. Find
the ratios of the radii and prove that joining 3 centres gives a
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
If a ball is rolled into the corner of a room how far is its centre
from the corner?
P is a point inside a square ABCD such that PA= 1, PB = 2 and PC =
3. How big is angle APB ?
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 the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
A tetrahedron has two identical equilateral triangles faces, of side length 1 unit. The other two faces are right angled isosceles triangles. Find the exact volume of the tetrahedron.
Three circular medallions fit in a rectangular box. Can you find the radius of the largest one?
Prove that for every right angled triangle which has sides with
integer lengths: (1) the area of the triangle is even and (2) the
length of one of the sides is divisible by 5.
Find the sides of an equilateral triangle ABC where a trapezium
BCPQ is drawn with BP=CQ=2 , PQ=1 and AP+AQ=sqrt7 . Note: there are
2 possible interpretations.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
The incircles of 3, 4, 5 and of 5, 12, 13 right angled triangles
have radii 1 and 2 units respectively. What about triangles with an
inradius of 3, 4 or 5 or ...?
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.
Six circular discs are packed in different-shaped boxes so that the
discs touch their neighbours and the sides of the box. Can you put
the boxes in order according to the areas of their bases?
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?