Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

Find the maximum value of 1/p + 1/q + 1/r where this sum is less than 1 and p, q, and r are positive integers.

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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?

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

Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and keep repeating this. What happens?

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?

Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?

115^2 = (110 x 120) + 25, that is 13225 895^2 = (890 x 900) + 25, that is 801025 Can you explain what is happening and generalise?

Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you make two lights switch on at once? Three lights? All four lights?

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nÂ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...

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. . . .

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. . . .

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?

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.

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?

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.

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

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?

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

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

Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?

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

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

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

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.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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?

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?

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.

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.

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

How many zeros are there at the end of the number which is the product of first hundred positive integers?

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?

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. . . .

How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?

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" .

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. . . .

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

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?

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.

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.

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?