Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change
colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of
meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start
with 12. . . .
Imagine a machine with four coloured lights which respond to different rules. Can you find the smallest possible number which will make all four colours light up?
What are the last two digits of 2^(2^2003)?
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are
natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is
only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
What is the last digit of the number 1 / 5^903 ?
Find out about palindromic numbers by reading this article.
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?
There are some water lilies in a lake. The area that they cover doubles in size every day. After 17 days the whole lake is covered. How long did it take them to cover half the lake?
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
This article explains how credit card numbers are defined and the check digit serves to verify their accuracy.
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. . . .
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
Show that 8778, 10296 and 13530 are three triangular numbers and that they form a Pythagorean triple.
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...
In how many ways can a pound (value 100 pence) be changed into some combination of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence coins?
The number 10112359550561797752808988764044943820224719 is called a
'slippy number' because, when the last digit 9 is moved to the
front, the new number produced is the slippy number multiplied by
A case is found with a combination lock. There is one clue about the number needed to open the case. Can you find the number and open the case?
This investigation is about happy numbers in the World of the Octopus where all numbers are written in base 8 ... Find all the fixed points and cycles for the happy number sequences in base 8.
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down
all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur
most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
The number 12 = 2^2 × 3 has 6 factors. What is the smallest natural number with exactly 36 factors?
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?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
I am thinking of three sets of numbers less than 101. Can you find
all the numbers in each set from these clues?
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
This task depends on learners sharing reasoning, listening to
opinions, reflecting and pulling ideas together.
Guess the Dominoes for child and adult.
This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Work out how to light up the single light. What's the rule?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
I am thinking of three sets of numbers less than 101. They are the
red set, the green set and the blue set. Can you find all the
numbers in the sets from these clues?
Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?
A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly Â£100 if the prices are Â£10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.
What can you say about the values of n that make $7^n + 3^n$ a multiple of 10? Are there other pairs of integers between 1 and 10 which have similar properties?
When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the
answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is
represented by an "x" .
When asked how old she was, the teacher replied: My age in years is
not prime but odd and when reversed and added to my age you have a
Problem one was solved by 70% of the pupils. Problem 2 was solved
by 60% of them. Every pupil solved at least one of the problems.
Nine pupils solved both problems. How many pupils took the exam?
A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers
numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in
each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?
Complete the following expressions so that each one gives a four
digit number as the product of two two digit numbers and uses the
digits 1 to 8 once and only once.
How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be
written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter
represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once
it must represent the same digit each time.
Using the digits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, mulitply a two two
digit numbers are multiplied to give a four digit number, so that
the expression is correct. How many different solutions can you
What would you do if your teacher asked you add all the numbers from 1 to 100? Find out how Carl Gauss responded when he was asked to do just that.
Suppose you had to begin the never ending task of writing out the
natural numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... and so on. What would be the
1000th digit you would write down.