Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the holly leaf and the area of its surface.
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
The computer has made a rectangle and will tell you the number of spots it uses in total. Can you find out where the rectangle is?
We have four rods of equal lengths hinged at their endpoints to form a rhombus ABCD. Keeping AB fixed we allow CD to take all possible positions in the plane. What is the locus (or path) of the point. . . .
Straight lines are drawn from each corner of a square to the mid points of the opposite sides. Express the area of the octagon that is formed at the centre as a fraction of the area of the square.
Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.
Recreating the designs in this challenge requires you to break a problem down into manageable chunks and use the relationships between triangles and hexagons. An exercise in detail and elegance.
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
Thinking of circles as polygons with an infinite number of sides - but how does this help us with our understanding of the circumference of circle as pi x d? This challenge investigates. . . .
Equal circles can be arranged so that each circle touches four or six others. What percentage of the plane is covered by circles in each packing pattern? ...
By inscribing a circle in a square and then a square in a circle find an approximation to pi. By using a hexagon, can you improve on the approximation?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Show how this pentagonal tile can be used to tile the plane and describe the transformations which map this pentagon to its images in the tiling.
The sides of a triangle are 25, 39 and 40 units of length. Find the diameter of the circumscribed circle.
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the same radius.
Can you reproduce the design comprising a series of concentric circles? Test your understanding of the realtionship betwwn the circumference and diameter of a circle.
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
This article gives an wonderful insight into students working on the Arclets problem that first appeared in the Sept 2002 edition of the NRICH website.
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?
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?
Can you prove that the sum of the distances of any point inside a square from its sides is always equal (half the perimeter)? Can you prove it to be true for a rectangle or a hexagon?
In LOGO circles can be described in terms of polygons with an infinite (in this case large number) of sides - investigate this definition further.
Follow the instructions and you can take a rectangle, cut it into 4 pieces, discard two small triangles, put together the remaining two pieces and end up with a rectangle the same size. Try it!
A circle touches the lines OA, OB and AB where OA and OB are perpendicular. Show that the diameter of the circle is equal to the perimeter of the triangle
M is any point on the line AB. Squares of side length AM and MB are constructed and their circumcircles intersect at P (and M). Prove that the lines AD and BE produced pass through P.
A kite shaped lawn consists of an equilateral triangle ABC of side 130 feet and an isosceles triangle BCD in which BD and CD are of length 169 feet. A gardener has a motor mower which cuts strips of. . . .
Given a square ABCD of sides 10 cm, and using the corners as centres, construct four quadrants with radius 10 cm each inside the square. The four arcs intersect at P, Q, R and S. Find the. . . .
A farmer has a field which is the shape of a trapezium as illustrated below. To increase his profits he wishes to grow two different crops. To do this he would like to divide the field into two. . . .
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an explanation of how you did it?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
Where should runners start the 200m race so that they have all run the same distance by the finish?
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn with a circle just touching each side and another circle just touching each vertex.
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
The centre of the larger circle is at the midpoint of one side of an equilateral triangle and the circle touches the other two sides of the triangle. A smaller circle touches the larger circle and. . . .
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
Can you find a relationship between the area of the crescents and the area of the triangle?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
Can Jo make a gym bag for her trainers from the piece of fabric she has?
This task develops spatial reasoning skills. By framing and asking questions a member of the team has to find out what mathematical object they have chosen.
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
'What Shape?' activity for adult and child. Can you ask good questions so you can work out which shape your partner has chosen?
This article describes investigations that offer opportunities for children to think differently, and pose their own questions, about shapes.
Read about David Hilbert who proved that any polygon could be cut up into a certain number of pieces that could be put back together to form any other polygon of equal area.
Learn how to draw circles using Logo. Wait a minute! Are they really circles? If not what are they?
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.