A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
To investigate the relationship between the distance the ruler drops and the time taken, we need to do some mathematical modelling...
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
Can you find the lap times of the two cyclists travelling at constant speeds?
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
Two buses leave at the same time from two towns Shipton and Veston on the same long road, travelling towards each other. At each mile along the road are milestones. The buses' speeds are constant. . . .
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
Experiment with the interactivity of "rolling" regular polygons, and explore how the different positions of the red dot affects the distance it travels at each stage.
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .
Two engines, at opposite ends of a single track railway line, set off towards one another just as a fly, sitting on the front of one of the engines, sets off flying along the railway line...
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .
Experiment with the interactivity of "rolling" regular polygons, and explore how the different positions of the dot affects its vertical and horizontal movement at each stage.
Brian swims at twice the speed that a river is flowing, downstream from one moored boat to another and back again, taking 12 minutes altogether. How long would it have taken him in still water?
Experiment with the interactivity of "rolling" regular polygons, and explore how the different positions of the red dot affects its speed at each stage.
Four vehicles travel along a road one afternoon. Can you make sense of the graphs showing their motion?
Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?
Andy wants to cycle from Land's End to John o'Groats. Will he be able to eat enough to keep him going?
A car is travelling along a dual carriageway at constant speed. Every 3 minutes a bus passes going in the opposite direction, while every 6 minutes a bus passes the car travelling in the same. . . .
N people visit their friends staying N kilometres along the coast. Some walk along the cliff path at N km an hour, the rest go by car. How long is the road?
Looking at the graph - when was the person moving fastest? Slowest?
How far have these students walked by the time the teacher's car reaches them after their bus broke down?
My average speed for a journey was 50 mph, my return average speed of 70 mph. Why wasn't my average speed for the round trip 60mph ?
At Holborn underground station there is a very long escalator. Two people are in a hurry and so climb the escalator as it is moving upwards, thus adding their speed to that of the moving steps. . . .
A conveyor belt, with tins placed at regular intervals, is moving at a steady rate towards a labelling machine. A gerbil starts from the beginning of the belt and jumps from tin to tin.
Four vehicles travelled on a road. What can you deduce from the times that they met?
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?
Swimmers in opposite directions cross at 20m and at 30m from each end of a swimming pool. How long is the pool ?
A messenger runs from the rear to the head of a marching column and back. When he gets back, the rear is where the head was when he set off. What is the ratio of his speed to that of the column?
Two trains set off at the same time from each end of a single straight railway line. A very fast bee starts off in front of the first train and flies continuously back and forth between the. . . .
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to race against Usain Bolt?
The triathlon is a physically gruelling challenge. Can you work out which athlete burnt the most calories?
In which Olympic event does a human travel fastest? Decide which events to include in your Alternative Record Book.