This month there is a Friday the thirteenth and this year there are
three. Can you explain why every year must contain at least one
Friday the thirteenth?
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. . . .
Two trains set off at the same time from each end of a single
straight railway line. A very fast bee starts off in front of the
first train and flies continuously back and forth between the. . . .
Sometime during every hour the minute hand lies directly above the
hour hand. At what time between 4 and 5 o'clock does this happen?
Two cyclists, practising on a track, pass each other at the starting line and go at constant speeds... Can you find lap times that are such that the cyclists will meet exactly half way round the. . . .
A car is travelling along a dual carriageway at constant speed. Every 3 minutes a bus passes going in the opposite direction, while every 6 minutes a bus passes the car travelling in the same. . . .
A messenger runs from the rear to the head of a marching column and
back. When he gets back, the rear is where the head was when he set
off. What is the ratio of his speed to that of the column?
Noticing the regular movement of the Sun and the stars has led to a desire to measure time. This article for teachers and learners looks at the history of man's need to measure things.
Use the clocks to investigate French decimal time in this problem.
Can you see how this time system worked?
How far have these students walked by the time the teacher's car
reaches them after their bus broke down?
Read this article to find out the mathematical method for working out what day of the week each particular date fell on back as far as 1700.
Calendars were one of the earliest calculating devices developed by civilizations. Find out about the Mayan calendar in this article.
If Tom wants to learn to cook his favourite supper, he needs to make a schedule so that everything is ready at the same time.
This article explains how Greenwich Mean Time was established and in fact, why Greenwich in London was chosen as the standard.
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
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?
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?
Which segment on a digital clock is lit most each day? Which
segment is lit least? Does it make any difference if it is set to
12 hours or 24 hours?
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of
Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times
would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up
with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring
instrument. Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute
What can you say about when these pictures were taken?
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another
boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven
days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the
driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly
over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?
Two engines, at opposite ends of a single track railway line, set
off towards one another just as a fly, sitting on the front of one
of the engines, sets off flying along the railway line...
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
At the time of writing the hour and minute hands of my clock are at
right angles. How long will it be before they are at right angles
Anne completes a circuit around a circular track in 40 seconds.
Brenda runs in the opposite direction and meets Anne every 15
seconds. How long does it take Brenda to run around the track?
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen
congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who
are even older than he is... When was he born?
Mathematics has allowed us now to measure lots of things about eclipses and so calculate exactly when they will happen, where they can be seen from, and what they will look like.
My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris
between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the
hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .
N people visit their friends staying N kilometres along the coast.
Some walk along the cliff path at N km an hour, the rest go by car.
How long is the road?
My measurements have got all jumbled up! Swap them around and see
if you can find a combination where every measurement is valid.
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.