For questions about geometric shapes, congruences, similarities, transformations, as well as the properties of classes of figures, points, lines, angles.

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87
votes
11answers
12k views

How can I find the surface area of a normal chicken egg?

This morning, I had eggs for breakfast, and I was looking at the pieces of broken shells and thought "What is the surface area of this egg?" The problem is that I have no real idea about how to find ...
94
votes
4answers
2k views

Hyperbolic critters studying Euclidean geometry

You've spent your whole life in the hyperbolic plane. It's second nature to you that the area of a triangle depends only on its angles, and it seems absurd to suggest that it could ever be otherwise. ...
40
votes
2answers
2k views

Geometric intuition for the tensor product of vector spaces

First of all, I am very comfortable with the tensor product of vector spaces. I am also very familiar with the well-known generalizations, in particular the theory of monoidal categories. I have ...
40
votes
4answers
1k views

How to identify surfaces of revolution

Given a surface $f(x,y,z)=0$, how would you determine whether or not it's a surface of revolution, and find the axis of rotation? The special case where $f$ is a polynomial is also of interest. A ...
74
votes
9answers
10k views

Is there a size of rectangle that retains its ratio when it's folded in half?

A hypothetical (and maybe practical) question has been nagging at me. If you had a piece of paper with dimensions 4 and 3 (4:3), folding it in half along the long side (once) would result in 2 inches ...
20
votes
6answers
1k views

What Mathematics questions can be better solved with concepts from Physics?

Over the years, I've seen several questions in mathematics that can be solved using concepts borrowed from Physics. Having seen these question, I'm interested to find out what other mathematics ...
30
votes
7answers
2k views

Quotient geometries known in popular culture, such as “flat torus = Asteroids video game”

In answering a question I mentioned the Asteroids video game as an example -- at one time, the canonical example -- of a locally flat geometry that is globally different from the Euclidean plane. It ...
17
votes
6answers
371 views

Product of cosines: $ \prod_{r=1}^{7} \cos \frac{r\pi}{15} $

Evaluate $$ \prod_{r=1}^{7} \cos {\dfrac{r\pi}{15}} $$ I tried trigonometric identities of product of cosines, i.e, $$\cos\text{A}\cdot\cos\text{B} = \dfrac{1}{2}[ \cos(A+B)+\cos(A-B)] ...
17
votes
1answer
88k views

Solving Triangles (finding missing sides/angles given 3 sides/angles)

What is a general procedure for "solving" a triangle—that is, for finding the unknown side lengths and angle measures given three side lengths and/or angle measures?
18
votes
8answers
2k views

3 random numbers to describe point on a sphere [duplicate]

I'm currently working on a problem involving computer graphics and got into a discussion about whatever or not constructing a 3d vector out of 3 random points uniformly distributed points between -1 ...
12
votes
1answer
23k views

Simplest way to calculate the intersect area of two rectangles

I have a problem where I have TWO NON-rotated rectangles (given as two point tuples {x1 x2 y1 y2}) and I like to calculate their intersect area. I have seen more general answers to this question, ...
18
votes
16answers
4k views

Explaining Horizontal Shifting and Scaling

I always find myself wanting for a clear explanation (to a college algebra student) for the fact that horizontal transformations of graphs work in the opposite way that one might expect. For example, ...
14
votes
2answers
748 views

Finding the circles passing through two points and touching a circle

Given two points and a circle, construct a/the circle through the two points and touching the given circle. I came across this problem in History of Numerical Analysis by H. Goldstein. I spent some ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

The most efficient way to tile a rectangle with squares?

I was writing up a description of the Euclidean algorithm for a set of course notes and was playing around with one geometric intuition for the algorithm that involves tiling an $m \times n$ rectangle ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

the intersection of n disks/circles

Given that $n$ disks/circles share a common area, meaning that every two of them intersect or overlap one another, and we know their coordinates $(x_{1},y_{1},r_{1})$, $(x_{2},y_{2},r_{2})$, ..., ...
16
votes
10answers
3k views

Polygons with equal area and perimeter but different number of sides?

Let's say we have two polygons with different numbers of sides. They can be any sort of shape, but they have to have the same area, and perimeter. There could be such possibilities, but can someone ...
15
votes
2answers
523 views

Can a cube always be fitted into the projection of a cube?

If we project the unit cube, i.e. a axis parallel cube with side length 1 centered at the origin, in $\mathbb{R}^n$ onto a $k$-dimensional subspace of $\mathbb{R}^n$ which contains the origin, can we ...
15
votes
7answers
749 views

What is the name of this curve?

When I was a kid I used to draw this shape below but today I came against it as a problem. I don't know the name of this red curve below. It is enough to say the name if it is a known curve. I will ...
14
votes
3answers
539 views

How did Beltrami show the consistency of hyperbolic geometry in his 1868 papers?

This is in response to comments and the answer by user studiosus to this question: As for Beltrami's work: Consistency of a geometry from (post) Hilbert viewpoint has nothing to do with ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a point?

In geometry, what is a point? I have seen Euclid's definition and definitions in some text books. Nowhere have I found a complete notion. And then I made a definition out from everything that I know ...
11
votes
6answers
336 views

The square of minimum area with three vertices on a parabola

I was given this question by a friend and after working tirelessly on it I have not come up with anything substantial. I was hoping someone in the community could provide a pointer or possibly a ...
24
votes
1answer
2k views

if there are 5 points on a sphere then 4 of them belong to a half-sphere.

If there are 5 points on the surface of a sphere then there is a closed half sphere containing at least 4 of them. It's in a pidgeonhole list of problems, but I think I have to use rotations in more ...
24
votes
5answers
1k views

What is (a) geometry?

There is no question what topology is and what it's about: it's about topologies (= topological spaces), and that's it. There is also no question what (universal) algebra is and what it's about. ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

The position of a ladder leaning against a wall and touching a box under it

I was reading a newspaper and there was a little math riddle, I thought "how funny, that's gonna be easy, let's do it" and here am I... The problem goes as follow : in a barn, there is a 1 meter ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Pythagorean Theorem Proof Without Words 6

Your punishment for awarding me a "Nice Question" badge for my last question is that I'm going to post another one from Proofs without Words. How does the attached figure prove the Pythagorean ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Proving the area of a square and the required axioms

I recently realized the area formula of all polygons, and most basic figures can be proven from the areas of square and rectangle. For example if we know the area of rectangle, we can the area formula ...
8
votes
2answers
337 views

On the problem 1 of Putnam 2009

(This is adapted from problem 1 of Putnam 2009) Find all values of $n$ such that the following is true: There is a non-constant function $f : \Bbb{R}^2 \longrightarrow \Bbb{Z}_2$ such that for any ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

How can we draw a line?

We want to join by a line two distinct points $A$ and $B$. We have only a ruler of length $l>0$ and a pen. If $AB>l$ how can we do this?
14
votes
4answers
25k views

finding out the area of a triangle if the coordinates of the three vertices are given

What is the simplest way to find out the area of a triangle if the coordinates of the three vertices are given in x-y plane? One approach is to find the length of each side from the coordinates given ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Relationship between diameter and radius of a point set

Consider a set of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^k$. The diameter of this set is the maximum distance between two of its points; its radius is the radius of the smallest (closed) k-ball that contains all ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What are all these “visualizations” of the 3-sphere?

a 2-sphere is a normal sphere. A 3-sphere is $$ x^2 + y^2 + z^2 + w^2 = 1 $$ My first question is, why isn't the w coordinate just time? I can plot a 4-d sphere in a symbolic math program and ...
10
votes
6answers
732 views

If $A,B,C,D$ are complex numbers on the unit circle with $A+B+C+D=0$, then they form a rectangle

Let $A, B, C, D$ be points on a unit circle. Prove that if $A+B+C+D=0$, then $A,B,C,D$ make a rectangle. (Use complex numbers.) How do I prove this? I tried to use the dot product of 2 adjacent ...
9
votes
2answers
259 views

Partition of plane into parabolas

The plane is partitioned into parabolas (each point belongs to exactly one parabola). Does it follow that their axes have the same direction?
8
votes
3answers
356 views

$\pi$, Dedekind cuts, trigonometric functions, area of a circle

(I should say at the outset that this question is broad, and may need splitting up. Although I ask several questions, I present them as one because they are not independent of one another, and I am ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Numbers of circles around a circle

"When you draw a circle in a plane of radius $1$ you can perfectly surround it with $6$ other circles of the same radius." BUT when you draw a circle in a plane of radius $1$ and try to perfectly ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

A Math function that draws water droplet shape?

I just need a quick reference. What is the function for this kind of shape? Thanks.
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Matrix for rotation around a vector

I'm trying to figure out the general form for the matrix (let's say in $\mathbb R^3$ for simplicity) of a rotation of $\theta$ around an arbitrary vector $v$ passing through the origin (look towards ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Endpoint of a line knowing slope, start and distance

In a Cartesian system, I've got the slope, start point and distance of a line segment. What's the formula to find the endpoint?
17
votes
4answers
583 views

How fat is a triangle?

The slimness factor of a geometric shape in 2 dimensions is the ratio between the side-length of its smallest containing square and its largest contained square. This is an important factor in ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Trisect unknown angle using pencil, straight edge & compass; Prove validity of technique

This question was posed by my high school geometry teacher, for extra credit: Is it possible, using only a pencil, a straightedge (not a ruler) and a compass to trisect an angle of unknown value? ...
13
votes
2answers
847 views

$n$ lines cannot divide a plane region into $x$ regions, finding $x$ for $n$

I noticed that $3$ lines cannot divide the plane into $5$ regions (they can divide it into $2,3,4,6$ and $7$ regions). I have a line of reasoning for it, but it seems rather ad-hoc. I also noticed ...
10
votes
14answers
1k views

Irrational numbers in reality

I have a square stone slab 1 metre by 1 metre, by the Pythagorean identity the diagonal from one corner to another is given by $\sqrt 2$. However $\sqrt 2$ is an irrational number, could someone ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Equation of angle bisector, given the equations of two lines in 2D

I have two lines in 2D expressed with general equation (or implicit equation): First line: $a_1x+b_1y=c_1 \qquad(1)$ Second line: $a_2x+b_2y=c_2 \qquad(2)$ If the two lines are intersecting I will ...
9
votes
3answers
282 views

Beginning of Romance

I am a 17-year old student in India, in the standard 12th grade. Recently, I found the fascination in mathematics, and I am eager to dig in further. Currently, the only textbooks I have are the ones ...
9
votes
3answers
278 views

How to prove $\cos\left(\pi\over7\right)-\cos\left({2\pi}\over7\right)+\cos\left({3\pi}\over7\right)=\cos\left({\pi}\over3 \right)$

Is there an easy way to prove the identity? $$\cos \left ( \frac{\pi}{7} \right ) - \cos \left ( \frac{2\pi}{7} \right ) + \cos \left ( \frac{3\pi}{7} \right ) = \cos \left (\frac{\pi}{3} \right ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Formal Proof that area of a rectangle is $ab$

I tried to prove that the area of a rectangle is $ab$ given side lengths $a$ and $b$. The best I can do is the assume the area of a $1\times1$ square is $1$. Then not the number of $1\times1$ squares ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Divide a triangle into 2 equal area polygons

Through a point outside a triangle, use straightedge and compass to construct a line that divides the triangle into 2 equal areas. (This is my friend's challenge, It was so hard, I don't know where to ...
8
votes
6answers
13k views

Finding a Rotation Transformation from two Coordinate Frames in 3-Space

The question I'm trying to figure out states that I have 3 points P1, P2 and P3 in space. In one frame (Frame A I called it) those points are: Pa1, Pa2 and Pa3, same story for Frame B (namely: Pb1, ...
7
votes
4answers
696 views

Area of intersection between 4 circles centered at the vertices of a square

The centers of four circles are at the vertices of a square of sidelength 100m. Each circle has the radius of 100m. Which is the area of their intersection?
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Find all such functions defined on the space

$f:\mathbb{R}^3\to \mathbb{R}^{\ast}$ is such that for any non-degenerate tetrahedron $ABCD$ with $O$ the center of the inscribed sphere, we have : $$f(O)=f(A)f(B)f(C)f(D) $$ Prove that $f(X)=1$ for ...