If a is the radius of the axle, b the radius of each ball-bearing, and c the radius of the hub, why does the number of ball bearings n determine the ratio c/a? Find a formula for c/a in terms of n.
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.
This pattern of six circles contains three unit circles. Work out the radii of the other three circles and the relationship between them.
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 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. . . .
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
Can you prove that the sum of the distances of any point inside a square from its sides is always equal (half the perimeter)? Can you prove it to be true for a rectangle or a hexagon?
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?
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed 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. . . .
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?
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.
Can Jo make a gym bag for her trainers from the piece of fabric she has?
Given any three non intersecting circles in the plane find another circle or straight line which cuts all three circles orthogonally.
For any right-angled triangle find the radii of the three escribed circles touching the sides of the triangle externally.
A farmer has a field which is the shape of a trapezium as illustrated below. To increase his profits he wishes to grow two different crops. To do this he would like to divide the field into two. . . .
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Two perpendicular lines are tangential to two identical circles that touch. What is the largest circle that can be placed in between the two lines and the two circles and how would you construct it?
Three semi-circles have a common diameter, each touches the other two and two lie inside the biggest one. What is the radius of the circle that touches all three semi-circles?
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 has altitudes h1, h2 and h3. The radius of the inscribed circle is r, while the radii of the escribed circles are r1, r2 and r3 respectively. Prove: 1/r = 1/h1 + 1/h2 + 1/h3 = 1/r1 +. . . .
What is the sum of the angles of a triangle whose sides are circular arcs on a flat surface? What if the triangle is on the surface of a sphere?
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.
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.
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
How much of the field can the animals graze?
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? ...
Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.
Draw three equal line segments in a unit circle to divide the circle into four parts of equal area.
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
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. . . .
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.
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn with a circle just touching each side and another circle just touching each vertex.
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?
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.
Four circles all touch each other and a circumscribing circle. Find the ratios of the radii and prove that joining 3 centres gives a 3-4-5 triangle.
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. . . .
Two circles of equal size intersect and the centre of each circle is on the circumference of the other. What is the area of the intersection? Now imagine that the diagram represents two spheres of. . . .
A kite shaped lawn consists of an equilateral triangle ABC of side 130 feet and an isosceles triangle BCD in which BD and CD are of length 169 feet. A gardener has a motor mower which cuts strips of. . . .
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?
A small circle fits between two touching circles so that all three circles touch each other and have a common tangent? What is the exact radius of the smallest circle?
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
Investigate constructible images which contain rational areas.
Where should runners start the 200m race so that they have all run the same distance by the finish?
Straight lines are drawn from each corner of a square to the mid points of the opposite sides. Express the area of the octagon that is formed at the centre as a fraction of the area of the square.
Recreating the designs in this challenge requires you to break a problem down into manageable chunks and use the relationships between triangles and hexagons. An exercise in detail and elegance.
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. . . .
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.
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.