The net of a cube is to be cut from a sheet of card 100 cm square. What is the maximum volume cube that can be made from a single piece of card?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Shows that Pythagoras for Spherical Triangles reduces to Pythagoras's Theorem in the plane when the triangles are small relative to the radius of the sphere.
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?
A dot starts at the point (1,0) and turns anticlockwise. Can you estimate the height of the dot after it has turned through 45 degrees? Can you calculate its height?
Draw two circles, each of radius 1 unit, so that each circle goes through the centre of the other one. What is the area of the overlap?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
What remainders do you get when square numbers are divided by 4?
Three squares are drawn on the sides of a triangle ABC. Their areas are respectively 18 000, 20 000 and 26 000 square centimetres. If the outer vertices of the squares are joined, three more. . . .
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
Describe how to construct three circles which have areas in the ratio 1:2:3.
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?
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is, satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in a circle with a unit radius?
Stick some cubes together to make a cuboid. Find two of the angles by as many different methods as you can devise.
A ladder 3m long rests against a wall with one end a short distance from its base. Between the wall and the base of a ladder is a garden storage box 1m tall and 1m high. What is the maximum distance. . . .
Given any three non intersecting circles in the plane find another circle or straight line which cuts all three circles orthogonally.
The area of a regular pentagon looks about twice as a big as the pentangle star drawn within it. Is it?
This article is about triangles in which the lengths of the sides and the radii of the inscribed circles are all whole numbers.
Six circular discs are packed in different-shaped boxes so that the discs touch their neighbours and the sides of the box. Can you put the boxes in order according to the areas of their bases?
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
A 1 metre cube has one face on the ground and one face against a wall. A 4 metre ladder leans against the wall and just touches the cube. How high is the top of the ladder above the ground?
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 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?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
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. . . .
ABCD is a rectangle and P, Q, R and S are moveable points on the edges dividing the edges in certain ratios. Strangely PQRS is always a cyclic quadrilateral and you can find the angles.
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square, inscribed in an isosceles right angle triangle?
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?
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
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.
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.
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? ...
If the altitude of an isosceles triangle is 8 units and the perimeter of the triangle is 32 units.... What is the area of the triangle?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
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.
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
A fire-fighter needs to fill a bucket of water from the river and take it to a fire. What is the best point on the river bank for the fire-fighter to fill the bucket ?.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
A belt of thin wire, length L, binds together two cylindrical welding rods, whose radii are R and r, by passing all the way around them both. Find L in terms of R and r.
What are the shortest distances between the centres of opposite faces of a regular solid dodecahedron on the surface and through the middle of the dodecahedron?
In a right-angled tetrahedron prove that the sum of the squares of the areas of the 3 faces in mutually perpendicular planes equals the square of the area of the sloping face. A generalisation. . . .
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
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.
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which can be rearranged into another square.
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
Equal touching circles have centres on a line. From a point of this line on a circle, a tangent is drawn to the farthest circle. Find the lengths of chords where the line cuts the other circles.
Ten squares form regular rings either with adjacent or opposite vertices touching. Calculate the inner and outer radii of the rings that surround the squares.