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Broad Topics > Pythagoras and Trigonometry > Pythagoras' theorem

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Equilateral Areas

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.

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Nicely Similar

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Under the Ribbon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?

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Medallions

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Three circular medallions fit in a rectangular box. Can you find the radius of the largest one?

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Partly Circles

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?

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Incircles Explained

Age 16 to 18

This article is about triangles in which the lengths of the sides and the radii of the inscribed circles are all whole numbers.

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Strange Rectangle

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

ABCD is a rectangle and P, Q, R and S are moveable points on the edges dividing the edges in certain ratios. Strangely PQRS is always a cyclic quadrilateral and you can find the angles.

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Belt

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Rectangular Pyramids

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Is the sum of the squares of two opposite sloping edges of a rectangular based pyramid equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sloping edges?

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Square World

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

P is a point inside a square ABCD such that PA= 1, PB = 2 and PC = 3. How big is angle APB ?

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Reach for Polydron

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A tetrahedron has two identical equilateral triangles faces, of side length 1 unit. The other two faces are right angled isosceles triangles. Find the exact volume of the tetrahedron.

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Some(?) of the Parts

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Kite in a Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

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Chord

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Corridors

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.

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Semi-square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Pythagoras for a Tetrahedron

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Squ-areas

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Compare Areas

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?

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Orthogonal Circle

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given any three non intersecting circles in the plane find another circle or straight line which cuts all three circles orthogonally.

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Fitting In

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .

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Circle Packing

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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? ...

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Rhombus in Rectangle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.

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Two Circles

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Draw two circles, each of radius 1 unit, so that each circle goes through the centre of the other one. What is the area of the overlap?

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Grid Lockout

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What remainders do you get when square numbers are divided by 4?

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Circle Box

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Inscribed in a Circle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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All Tied Up

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Take a Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which can be rearranged into another square.

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Six Discs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Six circular discs are packed in different-shaped boxes so that the discs touch their neighbours and the sides of the box. Can you put the boxes in order according to the areas of their bases?

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Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

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Generating Triples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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About Pythagorean Golden Means

Age 16 to 18

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?

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Incircles

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

The incircles of 3, 4, 5 and of 5, 12, 13 right angled triangles have radii 1 and 2 units respectively. What about triangles with an inradius of 3, 4 or 5 or ...?

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Three Four Five

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Matter of Scale

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

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Napkin

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .

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The Pillar of Chios

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.

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The Medieval Octagon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.

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Pythagoras Mod 5

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Ball Packing

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

If a ball is rolled into the corner of a room how far is its centre from the corner?

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Little and Large

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the vertices?

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Xtra

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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30-60-90 Polypuzzle

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Re-arrange the pieces of the puzzle to form a rectangle and then to form an equilateral triangle. Calculate the angles and lengths.

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Tilting Triangles

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?

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At a Glance

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The area of a regular pentagon looks about twice as a big as the pentangle star drawn within it. Is it?

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Golden Construction

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Draw a square and an arc of a circle and construct the Golden rectangle. Find the value of the Golden Ratio.

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The Fire-fighter's Car Keys

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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 ?.

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Pareq Calc

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

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Slippage

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .