In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.
Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?
The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.
Solve this famous unsolved problem and win a prize. Take a positive
integer N. If even, divide by 2; if odd, multiply by 3 and add 1.
Iterate. Prove that the sequence always goes to 4,2,1,4,2,1...
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on
the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you
An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are
the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it
rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Evaluate these powers of 67. What do you notice? Can you convince
someone what the answer would be to (a million sixes followed by a
Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).
In 15 years' time my age will be the square of my age 15 years ago.
Can you work out my age, and when I had other special birthdays?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
This article for teachers describes the exchanges on an email talk list about ideas for an investigation which has the sum of the squares as its solution.
Libby Jared helped to set up NRICH and this is one of her favourite
problems. It's a problem suitable for a wide age range and best
How many ways can the terms in an ordered list be combined by
repeating a single binary operation. Show that for 4 terms there
are 5 cases and find the number of cases for 5 terms and 6 terms.
A walk is made up of diagonal steps from left to right, starting at
the origin and ending on the x-axis. How many paths are there for 4
steps, for 6 steps, for 8 steps?
Investigations and activities for you to enjoy on pattern in