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From All Corners

Straight lines are drawn from each corner of a square to the mid points of the opposite sides. Express the area of the octagon that is formed at the centre as a fraction of the area of the square.

The Medieval Octagon

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2


Medieval stonemasons used this method to construct exact octagons in a given square window.

Open your compasses to a radius of half the diagonal of the square and construct an arc with centre one vertex of the square - mark the 2 points where the arc crosses the sides.

Do that for all 4 vertices of the square giving 8 points which are the vertices of an octagon. Is the octagon an exact regular octagon ? Proof please.

If you have a Java enabled browser you can experiment with the interactive version