What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
In how many different ways can I colour the five edges of a
pentagon red, blue and green so that no two adjacent edges are the
This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners)
of a given triangle is a minimum.
Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top,
put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you
predict the last card?
An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a
and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two
edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.
A game for 2 players
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
Consider a watch face which has identical hands and identical marks
for the hours. It is opposite to a mirror. When is the time as read
direct and in the mirror exactly the same between 6 and 7?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point
of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the
square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
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.
A and C are the opposite vertices of a square ABCD, and have
coordinates (a,b) and (c,d), respectively. What are the coordinates
of the vertices B and D? What is the area of the square?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube.
How many routes are there from A to B?
This article outlines the underlying axioms of spherical geometry giving a simple proof that the sum of the angles of a triangle on the surface of a unit sphere is equal to pi plus the area of the. . . .
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the
patterns of play are similar.
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What
movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of
procedures will help - variables not essential.
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make
shapes with line symmetry?
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1
foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door
into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to
explain why this is possible.
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being
visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes
so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times
you. . . .
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between
them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Two angles ABC and PQR are floating in a box so that AB//PQ and BC//QR. Prove that the two angles are equal.
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is
covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom
right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .