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?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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. . . .
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Read all about the number pi and the mathematicians who have tried to find out its value as accurately as possible.
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?
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.
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. . . .
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?
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole?
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? ...
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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.
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
A metal puzzle which led to some mathematical questions.
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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?
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?
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.
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
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
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?
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. . . .
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
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.
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.
Can Jo make a gym bag for her trainers from the piece of fabric she has?
Investigate constructible images which contain rational areas.
Learn how to draw circles using Logo. Wait a minute! Are they really circles? If not what are they?
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. . . .
Introducing a geometrical instrument with 3 basic capabilities.
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.
Construct this design using only compasses
Where should runners start the 200m race so that they have all run the same distance by the finish?
In LOGO circles can be described in terms of polygons with an infinite (in this case large number) of sides - investigate this definition further.
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?
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).
The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the holly leaf and the area of its surface.
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?