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. . . .
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?
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. . . .
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a
centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is
directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45
degrees. . . .
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. . . .
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
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?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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.
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two
people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and
diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with
3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same
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. . . .
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
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. . . .
In a snooker game the brown ball was on the lip of the pocket but
it could not be hit directly as the black ball was in the way. How
could it be potted by playing the white ball off a cushion?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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. . . .
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. . . .
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a
factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and
16 is a factor of 48.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
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?
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?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
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?
How to build your own magic squares.
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?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the
sum of consecutive numbers.
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?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
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.
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?
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.
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?