These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.
This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.
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?
An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?
A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?
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.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
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.
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for 39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny less! Can. . . .
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
A picture is made by joining five small quadrilaterals together to make a large quadrilateral. Is it possible to draw a similar picture if all the small quadrilaterals are cyclic?
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. . . .
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?
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?
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.
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
An iterative method for finding the value of the Golden Ratio with explanations of how this involves the ratios of Fibonacci numbers and continued fractions.
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.