# Classic Geometry Paradox

Coming across this classic geometric paradox recently in Futility Closet motivated me to write down its solution in detail.

“Where did the empty square come from?”

In any case, this is the canonical example for why I avoid visual geometric proofs—you can be so easily fooled.  Real proofs require plane or analytic geometry arguments.

See the Classic Geometry Paradox

# More Right Triangle Magic

James Tanton asked to prove the following surprising property of a right triangle and its circumscribed and inscribed circles.

“Every triangle is circumscribed by some circle of diameter D, say, and circumscribes another circle of smaller diameter d. For a right triangle, d + D equals the sum of two side lengths of the triangle. Why?”

# Circles in Circles

Here is another problem from the “Challenges” section of the Quantum magazine.

“Inside a circle there are two intersecting circles. One of them touches the big circle in point A, the other in point B. Prove that if segment AB meets the smaller circles at one of their common points, then the sum of their radii equals the radius of the big circle. Is the converse true?  (A. Vesyolov)”

# Elliptical Medians Problem

This is a tantalizing problem from the 1977 Crux Mathematicorum.

“278. Proposed by W.A. McWorter, Jr., The Ohio State University.

If each of the medians of a triangle is extended beyond the sides of the triangle to 4/3 its length, show that the three new points formed and the vertices of the triangle all lie on an ellipse.”

See the Elliptical Medians Problem

# String of Beads Puzzle

This is a nifty problem from Presh Talwalkar.

“This is from a Manga called Q.E.D. I thank Sparky from the Philippines for the suggestion!

A string of beads is formed from 25 circles of the same size. The string passes through the center of each circle. The area enclosed by the string inside each circle is shaded in blue, and the remaining areas of the circles are shaded in orange. What is the value of the orange area minus the blue area? Calculate the area in terms of r, the radius of each circle.”

See the String of Beads Puzzle for solutions.

# Floating Square Puzzle

This is another puzzle from the Maths Masters team, Burkard Polster (aka Mathologer) and Marty Ross as part of their “Summer Quizzes” offerings.

“A mysterious square has materialized in the middle of the MCG, hovering in mid-air. The heights above the ground of three of its corners are 13, 21 and 34 metres. The fourth corner is higher still. How high?”

See the Floating Square Puzzle for solutions.

(Update 8/13/2023)  Alternative Solution Continue reading

# Square In A Quarter Circle

Another puzzle by Presh Talwalkar.

“Thanks to John H. for the suggestion!

A square is inscribed in a quarter circle such that the outer vertices are on the arc of the quarter circle. If the quarter circle has a radius equal to 1, what is the area of the square?

I am told this was given to 7th grade students (ages 12-13), and I think it is a very challenging problem for that age group. In fact I think it is a good problem for any geometry student.”

See the Square in Quarter Circle for solutions.

# Right Angles in a Square

Here is another problem from the “Challenges” section of the Quantum magazine.

“Point L divides the diagonal AC of a square ABCD in the ratio 3:1, K is the midpoint of side AB. Prove that angle KLD is a right angle.  (Y. Bogaturov)”

# Ant Connection Problem

This is a nice puzzle from the Maths Masters team, Burkard Polster (aka Mathologer) and Marty Ross as part of their “Summer Quizzes” offerings.

“Two ants are on a cylindrical glass that is 5 centimetres in diameter. The ants are on opposite sides of the glass, 5 centimetres down from the glass’s rim. If both ants are on the outside of the glass, what is the shortest distance required for one ant to crawl to the other? What if one ant is on the outside of the glass and the other is on the inside?”

See the Ant Connection Problem for solution.