- Problem
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If a is the radius of the axle, b the radius of each ball-bearing, and c the radius of the hub, why does the number of ball bearings n determine the ratio c/a? Find a formula for c/a in terms of n.

Bricks are 20cm long and 10cm high. How high could an arch be built without mortar on a flat horizontal surface, to overhang by 1 metre? How big an overhang is it possible to make like this?

Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.

Challenge Level

If you draw copies of the table reflected in the cushions then the reflection of the path of the ball after hitting a cushion appears as a straight line in the image of the table.

The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the
NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to
embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice.

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NRICH is part of the family of activities in the Millennium Mathematics Project.

NRICH is part of the family of activities in the Millennium Mathematics Project.