Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
What does this number mean ? Which order of 1, 2, 3 and 4 makes the
highest value ? Which makes the lowest ?
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.
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587,
3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
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 car's milometer reads 4631 miles and the trip meter has 173.3 on
it. How many more miles must the car travel before the two numbers
contain the same digits in the same order?
Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed
and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square.
What is the 2-digit number?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the 'back of
the queue' and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. What
properties do your answers always have?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated
the difference between square numbers?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
All CD Heaven stores were given the same number of a popular CD to
sell for £24. In their two week sale each store reduces the
price of the CD by 25% ... How many CDs did the store sell at. . . .
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
There is a particular value of x, and a value of y to go with it,
which make all five expressions equal in value, can you find that
x, y pair ?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Water freezes at 0°Celsius (32°Fahrenheit) and boils at 100°C (212°Fahrenheit). Is there a temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit readings are the same?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .
Some people offer advice on how to win at games of chance, or how
to influence probability in your favour. Can you decide whether
advice is good or not?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
A game for 2 or more people, based on the traditional card game
Rummy. Players aim to make two `tricks', where each trick has to
consist of a picture of a shape, a name that describes that shape,
and. . . .
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line
splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side
lengths for the original right-angled triangle?
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?