How to build your own magic squares.
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know
the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number
and which numbers were removed?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take
three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then
add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she
does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are
the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is
multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square
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?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).
The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
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. . . .
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection.
Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had
put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following
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?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy
pyramid whose top number is 200.
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
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. . . .
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
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. . . .
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces
of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had
no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the
sum of consecutive numbers.
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I know?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment
points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a
balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect
squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number.
Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this
process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when
the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the
intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
A job needs three men but in fact six people do it. When it is
finished they are all paid the same. How much was paid in total,
and much does each man get if the money is shared as Fred suggests?
The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
The well known Fibonacci sequence is 1 ,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21....
How many Fibonacci sequences can you find containing the number 196
as one of the terms?
A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is
the volume of the box?
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. . . .