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Broad Topics > Numbers and the Number System > Properties of numbers

Unlocking the Case

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

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?

Guess the Dominoes for Two

Stage: Early years, 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Guess the Dominoes for child and adult.

Chameleons

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Four Coloured Lights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Slippy Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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 9.

Happy Octopus

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Like Powers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Triangular Triples

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Show that 8778, 10296 and 13530 are three triangular numbers and that they form a Pythagorean triple.

Escape from the Castle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

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?

Arrange the Digits

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit numbers such that their total is close to 1500?

Two Much

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.

Water Lilies

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Writ Large

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Sept 03

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

What is the last digit of the number 1 / 5^903 ?

Factors and Multiple Challenges

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH website that could be suitable for students who have a good understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take on some. . . .

N Is a Number

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

One or Both

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Lastly - Well

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

What are the last two digits of 2^(2^2003)?

Palindromes

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

The Codabar Check

Stage: 3

This article explains how credit card numbers are defined and the check digit serves to verify their accuracy.

Alphabet Soup

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Clever Carl

Stage: 2 and 3

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.

The Patent Solution

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Guess the Dominoes

Stage: 1, 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

This task depends on learners sharing reasoning, listening to opinions, reflecting and pulling ideas together.

Times Right

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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 find?

Snail One Hundred

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

This is a game in which your counters move in a spiral round the snail's shell. It is about understanding tens and units.

X Marks the Spot

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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" .

Numbers Numbers Everywhere!

Stage: 1 and 2

Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.

Whole Numbers Only

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you work out how many of each kind of pencil this student bought?

Which Numbers? (2)

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

I am thinking of three sets of numbers less than 101. Can you find all the numbers in each set from these clues?

Thirty Six Exactly

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

The number 12 = 2^2 × 3 has 6 factors. What is the smallest natural number with exactly 36 factors?

Sort Them Out (2)

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?

Which Numbers? (1)

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

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?

One to Eight

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Oh! Hidden Inside?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Find the number which has 8 divisors, such that the product of the divisors is 331776.

Got it Article

Stage: 2 and 3

This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.

Table Patterns Go Wild!

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Nearly all of us have made table patterns on hundred squares, that is 10 by 10 grids. This problem looks at the patterns on differently sized square grids.

Helen's Conjecture

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Helen made the conjecture that "every multiple of six has more factors than the two numbers either side of it". Is this conjecture true?

Small Change

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

28 and It's Upward and Onward

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?

See the Light

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

Work out how to light up the single light. What's the rule?

Magic Letters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

Unit Fractions

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Lesser Digits

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?

14 Divisors

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?

Power Crazy

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Not a Polite Question

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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 perfect square...