These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
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.
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
An equilateral triangle is constructed on BC. A line QD is drawn, where Q is the midpoint of AC. Prove that AB // QD.
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
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.
The diagonal of a square intersects the line joining one of the unused corners to the midpoint of the opposite side. What do you notice about the line segments produced?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
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.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
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 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. . . .
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked with dots lie on one line?
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.