Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to
get a different number Find the difference between the two three
digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really
clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not
magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50
x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if
An AP rectangle is one whose area is numerically equal to its perimeter. If you are given the length of a side can you always find an AP rectangle with one side the given length?
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number
you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number
you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
Choose any four consecutive even numbers. Multiply the two middle
numbers together. Multiply the first and last numbers. Now subtract
your second answer from the first. Try it with your own. . . .
Think of a number Multiply it by 3 Add 6 Take away your start
number Divide by 2 Take away your number. (You have finished with
3!) HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Choose two digits and arrange them to make two double-digit
numbers. Now add your double-digit numbers. Now add your single
digit numbers. Divide your double-digit answer by your single-digit
answer. . . .
Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out
correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E
According to Plutarch, the Greeks found all the rectangles with
integer sides, whose areas are equal to their perimeters. Can you
find them? What rectangular boxes, with integer sides, have. . . .
Visitors to Earth from the distant planet of Zub-Zorna were amazed
when they found out that when the digits in this multiplication
were reversed, the answer was the same! Find a way to explain. . . .
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
This is the first of a two part series of articles on the history
of Algebra from about 2000 BCE to about 1000 CE.