You may also like

problem icon

Building Tetrahedra

Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?

problem icon

Ladder and Cube

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?

problem icon

Areas and Ratios

What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it out.

Spotting the Loophole

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In order to solve this problem you will need to think about what makes a loop closed instead of open.

In two dimensions the overall changes in the x direction around the loop must cancel out and the overall changes in the y directions around the loop must also cancel out. You can think about these two directions separately if you cannot quickly spot how to form a closed loop.

Visually you can use lots of intuitive shortcuts, such as that 'long' arrows may need multiple 'short' arrows to close up into a loop.

Of course, when you think that you have spotted a loop you will need to check carefully to see if you are correct by adding up the vectors exactly.