Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Mathematical reasoning & proof

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.

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.

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?

Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

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. . . .

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.

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.

Towering Trapeziums

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?

Matter of Scale

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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?

Gift of Gems

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

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.

Parallel Universe

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

An equilateral triangle is constructed on BC. A line QD is drawn, where Q is the midpoint of AC. Prove that AB // QD.

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?

Folding Fractions

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

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.

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?

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.

Same Length

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

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.

Tessellating Hexagons

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Which hexagons tessellate?

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.

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. . . .

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.

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.

Cyclic Quad Jigsaw

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?

Square Mean

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

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?

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?

Cyclic Quadrilaterals

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

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?

Mindreader

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

Converse

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?

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.

Always the Same

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?

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.

L-triominoes

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

Concrete Wheel

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

Diophantine N-tuples

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

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?

More Number Sandwiches

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

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?

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. . . .