Can you reproduce the design comprising a series of concentric
circles? Test your understanding of the realtionship betwwn the
circumference and diameter of a circle.
In LOGO circles can be described in terms of polygons with an
infinite (in this case large number) of sides - investigate this
Thinking of circles as polygons with an infinite number of sides -
but how does this help us with our understanding of the
circumference of circle as pi x d? This challenge investigates. . . .
Learn how to draw circles using Logo. Wait a minute! Are they really circles? If not what are they?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
We have four rods of equal lengths hinged at their endpoints to
form a rhombus ABCD. Keeping AB fixed we allow CD to take all
possible positions in the plane. What is the locus (or path) of the
point. . . .
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret
the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will
be produced using different wheels?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Two circles are enclosed by a rectangle 12 units by x units. The distance between the centres of the two circles is x/3 units. How big is x?
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.
This article gives an wonderful insight into students working on the Arclets problem that first appeared in the Sept 2002 edition of the NRICH website.
Construct this design using only compasses
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
M is any point on the line AB. Squares of side length AM and MB are
constructed and their circumcircles intersect at P (and M). Prove
that the lines AD and BE produced pass through P.
Introducing a geometrical instrument with 3 basic capabilities.
Given a square ABCD of sides 10 cm, and using the corners as
centres, construct four quadrants with radius 10 cm each inside the
square. The four arcs intersect at P, Q, R and S. Find the. . . .
The centre of the larger circle is at the midpoint of one side of an equilateral triangle and the circle touches the other two sides of the triangle. A smaller circle touches the larger circle and. . . .
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? ...
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
The three corners of a triangle are sitting on a circle. The angles
are called Angle A, Angle B and Angle C. The dot in the middle of
the circle shows the centre. The counter is measuring the size. . . .
Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.
A security camera, taking pictures each half a second, films a
cyclist going by. In the film, the cyclist appears to go forward
while the wheels appear to go backwards. Why?
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship
between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on
AB as diameter?
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
At the corner of the cube circular arcs are drawn and the area enclosed shaded. What fraction of the surface area of the cube is shaded? Try working out the answer without recourse to pencil and. . . .
By inscribing a circle in a square and then a square in a circle
find an approximation to pi. By using a hexagon, can you improve on
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
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?
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
Can Jo make a gym bag for her trainers from the piece of fabric she has?
Investigate constructible images which contain rational areas.
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Bluey-green, white and transparent squares with a few odd bits of
shapes around the perimeter. But, how many squares are there of
each type in the complete circle? Study the picture and make. . . .
A metal puzzle which led to some mathematical questions.
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?
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner 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?
Investigate the different ways of cutting a perfectly circular pie into equal pieces using exactly 3 cuts. The cuts have to be along chords of the circle (which might be diameters).
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord
which is tangent to the inner circle.
Triangle ABC is right angled at A and semi circles are drawn on all three sides producing two 'crescents'. Show that the sum of the areas of the two crescents equals the area of triangle ABC.
In the four examples below identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
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.
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
Read all about the number pi and the mathematicians who have tried to find out its value as accurately as possible.
A circle with the radius of 2.2 centimetres is drawn touching the sides of a square. What area of the square is NOT covered by the circle?
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
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. . . .