A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the
greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Investigate the number of points with integer coordinates on
circles with centres at the origin for which the square of the
radius is a power of 5.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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?
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!
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
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.
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?
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.
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 ...?
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
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. . . .
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?
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.
Prove Pythagoras Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
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. . . .
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?
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.
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.
Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.
Re-arrange the pieces of the puzzle to form a rectangle and then to
form an equilateral triangle. Calculate the angles and lengths.
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
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.
Rotate a copy of the trapezium about the centre of the longest side
of the blue triangle to make a square. Find the area of the square
and then derive a formula for the area of the trapezium.
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.
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?
What remainders do you get when square numbers are divided by 4?
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.
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? ...
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
Four circles all touch each other and a circumscribing circle. Find
the ratios of the radii and prove that joining 3 centres gives a
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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. . . .
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?
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.
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?
Draw a square and an arc of a circle and construct the Golden
rectangle. Find the value of the Golden Ratio.
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?
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?
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 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
A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the
largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?
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. . . .
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.
The area of a regular pentagon looks about twice as a big as the pentangle star drawn within it. Is it?
If a ball is rolled into the corner of a room how far is its centre
from the corner?