Can you minimise the amount of wood needed to build the roof of my garden shed?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?
If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side lengths for the original right-angled triangle?
A dot starts at the point (1,0) and turns anticlockwise. Can you estimate the height of the dot after it has turned through 45 degrees? Can you calculate its height?
Stick some cubes together to make a cuboid. Find two of the angles by as many different methods as you can devise.
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is, satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in a circle with a unit radius?
A belt of thin wire, length L, binds together two cylindrical welding rods, whose radii are R and r, by passing all the way around them both. Find L in terms of R and r.
In a right-angled tetrahedron prove that the sum of the squares of the areas of the 3 faces in mutually perpendicular planes equals the square of the area of the sloping face. A generalisation. . . .
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 same radius.
Explain how the thirteen pieces making up the regular hexagon shown in the diagram can be re-assembled to form three smaller regular hexagons congruent to each other.
Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked with dots lie on one line?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
Given any three non intersecting circles in the plane find another circle or straight line which cuts all three circles orthogonally.
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?
Ten squares form regular rings either with adjacent or opposite vertices touching. Calculate the inner and outer radii of the rings that surround the squares.
A small circle fits between two touching circles so that all three circles touch each other and have a common tangent? What is the exact radius of the smallest circle?
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
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?
A fire-fighter needs to fill a bucket of water from the river and take it to a fire. What is the best point on the river bank for the fire-fighter to fill the bucket ?.
A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?
Shows that Pythagoras for Spherical Triangles reduces to Pythagoras's Theorem in the plane when the triangles are small relative to the radius of the sphere.
Liethagoras, Pythagoras' cousin (!), was jealous of Pythagoras and came up with his own theorem. Read this article to find out why other mathematicians laughed at him.
Pythagoras of Samos was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 580 BC to about 500 BC. Find out about the important developments he made in mathematics, astronomy, and the theory of music.
Draw a square and an arc of a circle and construct the Golden rectangle. Find the value of the Golden Ratio.
This article for pupils and teachers looks at a number that even the great mathematician, Pythagoras, found terrifying.
The net of a cube is to be cut from a sheet of card 100 cm square. What is the maximum volume cube that can be made from a single piece of card?
A ladder 3m long rests against a wall with one end a short distance from its base. Between the wall and the base of a ladder is a garden storage box 1m tall and 1m high. What is the maximum distance. . . .
Read all about Pythagoras' mathematical discoveries in this article written for students.
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
Describe how to construct three circles which have areas in the ratio 1:2:3.
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
Find the sides of an equilateral triangle ABC where a trapezium BCPQ is drawn with BP=CQ=2 , PQ=1 and AP+AQ=sqrt7 . Note: there are 2 possible interpretations.
Three squares are drawn on the sides of a triangle ABC. Their areas are respectively 18 000, 20 000 and 26 000 square centimetres. If the outer vertices of the squares are joined, three more. . . .
Prove that for every right angled triangle which has sides with integer lengths: (1) the area of the triangle is even and (2) the length of one of the sides is divisible by 5.
Equal touching circles have centres on a line. From a point of this line on a circle, a tangent is drawn to the farthest circle. Find the lengths of chords where the line cuts the other circles.
What are the shortest distances between the centres of opposite faces of a regular solid dodecahedron on the surface and through the middle of the dodecahedron?
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
What is the relationship between the arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means of two numbers, the sides of a right angled triangle and the Golden Ratio?
This article is about triangles in which the lengths of the sides and the radii of the inscribed circles are all whole numbers.
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.