A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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
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
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.
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
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. . . .
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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. . . .
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 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
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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?
Equal touching circles have centres on a line. From a point of this
line on a circle, a tangent is drawn to the farthest circle. Find
the lengths of chords where the line cuts the other circles.
A small circle fits between two touching circles so that all three
circles touch each other and have a common tangent? What is the
exact radius of the smallest circle?
A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the
largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?
A 1 metre cube has one face on the ground and one face against a
wall. A 4 metre ladder leans against the wall and just touches the
cube. How high is the top of the ladder above the ground?
A belt of thin wire, length L, binds together two cylindrical
welding rods, whose radii are R and r, by passing all the way
around them both. Find L in terms of R and r.
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? ...
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. . . .
Draw a square and an arc of a circle and construct the Golden
rectangle. Find the value of the Golden Ratio.
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.
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.
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 white cross is placed symmetrically in a red disc with the central square of side length sqrt 2 and the arms of the cross of length 1 unit. What is the area of the disc still showing?
Four circles all touch each other and a circumscribing circle. Find
the ratios of the radii and prove that joining 3 centres gives a
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?
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. . . .
What are the shortest distances between the centres of opposite
faces of a regular solid dodecahedron on the surface and through
the middle of the dodecahedron?
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.
P is a point inside a square ABCD such that PA= 1, PB = 2 and PC =
3. How big is angle APB ?
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.
If a ball is rolled into the corner of a room how far is its centre
from the corner?
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. . . .
The area of a regular pentagon looks about twice as a big as the pentangle star drawn within it. Is it?
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?
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.
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.
Ten squares form regular rings either with adjacent or opposite
vertices touching. Calculate the inner and outer radii of the rings
that surround the squares.
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?
Given any three non intersecting circles in the plane find another
circle or straight line which cuts all three circles orthogonally.
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. . . .
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?
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?
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.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between
them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite
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 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 ?.