# Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Mathematical reasoning & proof ### Three Balls

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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? ### Rhombus in Rectangle

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. ### Salinon

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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? ### Towering Trapeziums

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence? ### Circle Box

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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 Pillar of Chios

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. ### A Chordingly

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle. ##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A picture is made by joining five small quadrilaterals together to make a large quadrilateral. Is it possible to draw a similar picture if all the small quadrilaterals are cyclic? ### Zig Zag

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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? ### Round and Round

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle. ### Encircling

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape? ### Coins on a Plate

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle. ### Long Short

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle? ### Volume of a Pyramid and a Cone

##### Age 11 to 14

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. ### Mouhefanggai

##### Age 14 to 16

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. ### Pythagorean Triples I

##### Age 11 to 16

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! ### Pythagorean Triples II

##### Age 11 to 16

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers. ### Similarly So

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD. ### Convex Polygons

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles. ### Proximity

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours. ### Concrete Wheel

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see? ### Pareq Exists

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines. ### Lens Angle

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. ### Picture Story

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers? ### Folding Fractions

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding? ### Pythagoras Proofs

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem? ### Picturing Pythagorean Triples

##### Age 14 to 18

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. ### Natural Sum

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . . ### Kite in a Square

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square? ### Folding Squares

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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? ### No Right Angle Here

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other. ### Matter of Scale

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors. ### Fitting In

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . . ### Perfectly Square

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why? ### Ratty

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation? ### Cross-country Race

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places? ### Go Forth and Generalise

##### Age 11 to 14

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important. ### Disappearing Square

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . . ### The Frieze Tree

##### Age 11 to 16

Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another? ### Logic

##### Age 7 to 14

What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article. ### Pent

##### Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ### Unit Fractions

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation. ### Clocked

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours? ### Cosines Rule

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. ### Angle Trisection

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square. ### Tessellating Hexagons

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Which hexagons tessellate? ### Tourism

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable. ### Children at Large

##### Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?  