A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
A metal puzzle which led to some mathematical questions.
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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
This article gives an wonderful insight into students working on the Arclets problem that first appeared in the Sept 2002 edition of the NRICH website.
Triangle ABC is right angled at A and semi circles are drawn on all three sides producing two 'crescents'. Show that the sum of the areas of the two crescents equals the area of triangle ABC.
Introducing a geometrical instrument with 3 basic capabilities.
Read all about the number pi and the mathematicians who have tried to find out its value as accurately as possible.
The three corners of a triangle are sitting on a circle. The angles are called Angle A, Angle B and Angle C. The dot in the middle of the circle shows the centre. The counter is measuring the size. . . .
Can Jo make a gym bag for her trainers from the piece of fabric she has?
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. . . .
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole?
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
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.
Two semicircle sit on the diameter of a semicircle centre O of twice their radius. Lines through O divide the perimeter into two parts. What can you say about the lengths of these two parts?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
A floor is covered by a tessellation of equilateral triangles, each having three equal arcs inside it. What proportion of the area of the tessellation is shaded?
Two circles are enclosed by a rectangle 12 units by x units. The distance between the centres of the two circles is x/3 units. How big is x?
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
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.
What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?
By inscribing a circle in a square and then a square in a circle find an approximation to pi. By using a hexagon, can you improve on the approximation?
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 reproduce the design comprising a series of concentric circles? Test your understanding of the realtionship betwwn the circumference and diameter of a circle.
Thinking of circles as polygons with an infinite number of sides - but how does this help us with our understanding of the circumference of circle as pi x d? This challenge investigates. . . .
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
Construct this design using only compasses
In LOGO circles can be described in terms of polygons with an infinite (in this case large number) of sides - investigate this definition further.
The centre of the larger circle is at the midpoint of one side of an equilateral triangle and the circle touches the other two sides of the triangle. A smaller circle touches the larger circle and. . . .
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
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? ...
At the corner of the cube circular arcs are drawn and the area enclosed shaded. What fraction of the surface area of the cube is shaded? Try working out the answer without recourse to pencil and. . . .
A white cross is placed symmetrically in a red disc with the central square of side length sqrt 2 and the arms of the cross of length 1 unit. What is the area of the disc still showing?
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?
Bluey-green, white and transparent squares with a few odd bits of shapes around the perimeter. But, how many squares are there of each type in the complete circle? Study the picture and make. . . .
We have four rods of equal lengths hinged at their endpoints to form a rhombus ABCD. Keeping AB fixed we allow CD to take all possible positions in the plane. What is the locus (or path) of the point. . . .
M is any point on the line AB. Squares of side length AM and MB are constructed and their circumcircles intersect at P (and M). Prove that the lines AD and BE produced pass through P.
A circle with the radius of 2.2 centimetres is drawn touching the sides of a square. What area of the square is NOT covered by the circle?