Three semi-circles have a common diameter, each touches the other
two and two lie inside the biggest one. What is the radius of the
circle that touches all three semi-circles?
This pattern of six circles contains three unit circles. Work out
the radii of the other three circles and the relationship between
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.
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
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?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris
between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the
hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .
Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment
points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a
balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
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 fit polynomials through these points?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
In a snooker game the brown ball was on the lip of the pocket but
it could not be hit directly as the black ball was in the way. How
could it be potted by playing the white ball off a cushion?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
Show there are exactly 12 magic labellings of the Magic W using the
numbers 1 to 9. Prove that for every labelling with a magic total T
there is a corresponding labelling with a magic total 30-T.
Fancy learning a bit more about rates of reaction, but don't know
where to look? Come inside and find out more...
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces
of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had
no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
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. . . .
To investigate the relationship between the distance the ruler drops and the time taken, we need to do some mathematical modelling...
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
How to build your own magic squares.
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the
sum of consecutive numbers.
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a
centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is
directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45
degrees. . . .
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know
the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number
and which numbers were removed?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic
fractions for x=2000?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed
and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square.
What is the 2-digit number?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect
squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when
the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the
intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take
three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then
add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
In turn 4 people throw away three nuts from a pile and hide a
quarter of the remainder finally leaving a multiple of 4 nuts. How
many nuts were at the start?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday
will be on next year, and the year after...
The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square.
Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with
this property. Generalise to four integers.
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?