Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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. . . .
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.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
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.
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?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole?
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?
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?
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
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?
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?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
Investigate the different ways of cutting a perfectly circular pie into equal pieces using exactly 3 cuts. The cuts have to be along chords of the circle (which might be diameters).
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?
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?
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. . . .
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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. . . .
Read all about the number pi and the mathematicians who have tried to find out its value as accurately as possible.
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
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. . . .
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
What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
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 metal puzzle which led to some mathematical questions.
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?
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.
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
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.
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. . . .
Construct this design using only compasses
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.
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.
Introducing a geometrical instrument with 3 basic capabilities.
In LOGO circles can be described in terms of polygons with an infinite (in this case large number) of sides - investigate this definition further.
Given a square ABCD of sides 10 cm, and using the corners as centres, construct four quadrants with radius 10 cm each inside the square. The four arcs intersect at P, Q, R and S. Find the. . . .
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?
A security camera, taking pictures each half a second, films a cyclist going by. In the film, the cyclist appears to go forward while the wheels appear to go backwards. Why?
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
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.
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. . . .
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?