This problem in geometry has been solved in no less than EIGHT ways by a pair of students. How would you solve it? How many of their solutions can you follow? How are they the same or different?. . . .
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard table and then pass through its original position?
Trigonometry, circles and triangles combine in this short challenge.
Can you deduce the familiar properties of the sine and cosine functions starting from these three different mathematical representations?
There are many different methods to solve this geometrical problem - how many can you find?
Can you explain what is happening and account for the values being displayed?
In this 'mesh' of sine graphs, one of the graphs is the graph of the sine function. Find the equations of the other graphs to reproduce the pattern.
On a nine-point pegboard a band is stretched over 4 pegs in a "figure of 8" arrangement. How many different "figure of 8" arrangements can be made ?
The length AM can be calculated using trigonometry in two different ways. Create this pair of equivalent calculations for different peg boards, notice a general result, and account for it.
If you were to set the X weight to 2 what do you think the angle might be?
The sine of an angle is equal to the cosine of its complement. Can you explain why and does this rule extend beyond angles of 90 degrees?
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem for right-angled spherical triangles.
The Earth is further from the Sun than Venus, but how much further? Twice as far? Ten times?
From the measurements and the clue given find the area of the square that is not covered by the triangle and the circle.
The third of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.
Can you prove this formula for finding the area of a quadrilateral from its diagonals?
How can you represent the curvature of a cylinder on a flat piece of paper?
An environment that simulates a protractor carrying a right- angled triangle of unit hypotenuse.
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Join some regular octahedra, face touching face and one vertex of each meeting at a point. How many octahedra can you fit around this point?
If for any triangle ABC tan(A - B) + tan(B - C) + tan(C - A) = 0 what can you say about the triangle?
Two problems about infinite processes where smaller and smaller steps are taken and you have to discover what happens in the limit.
The coke machine in college takes 50 pence pieces. It also takes a certain foreign coin of traditional design...
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45 degrees. . . .
Draw three equal line segments in a unit circle to divide the circle into four parts of equal area.
What is the longest stick that can be carried horizontally along a narrow corridor and around a right-angled bend?
How would you design the tiering of seats in a stadium so that all spectators have a good view?
Use simple trigonometry to calculate the distance along the flight path from London to Sydney.
What is an AC voltage? How much power does an AC power source supply?
Beautiful mathematics. Two 18 year old students gave eight different proofs of one result then generalised it from the 3 by 1 case to the n by 1 case and proved the general result.
Two places are diametrically opposite each other on the same line of latitude. Compare the distances between them travelling along the line of latitude and travelling over the nearest pole.
Two perpendicular lines lie across each other and the end points are joined to form a quadrilateral. Eight ratios are defined, three are given but five need to be found.
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.
Which is larger cos(sin x) or sin(cos x) ? Does this depend on x ?
The second of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.
The first of three articles on the History of Trigonometry. This takes us from the Egyptians to early work on trigonometry in China.
One side of a triangle is divided into segments of length a and b by the inscribed circle, with radius r. Prove that the area is: abr(a+b)/ab-r^2
What does Pythagoras' Theorem tell you about these angles: 90°, (45+x)° and (45-x)° in a triangle?
How far should the roof overhang to shade windows from the mid-day sun?
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?
Logo helps us to understand gradients of lines and why Muggles Magic is not magic but mathematics. See the problem Muggles magic.
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. . . .
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?
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.
The area of a regular pentagon looks about twice as a big as the pentangle star drawn within it. Is it?
Without using a calculator, computer or tables find the exact values of cos36cos72 and also cos36 - cos72.
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
Re-arrange the pieces of the puzzle to form a rectangle and then to form an equilateral triangle. Calculate the angles and lengths.
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?
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?