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

Sept 03

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Mini-max

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Lastly - Well

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

Even So

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

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?

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.

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. . . .

Odd Differences

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

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.

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?

Cogs

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Pair Products

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

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. . . .

14 Divisors

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?

Enriching Experience

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram

Generating Triples

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Cinema Problem

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

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?

A Long Time at the Till

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Triangular Triples

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

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?

Difference Dynamics

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

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.

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?

Elevenses

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

An Introduction to Irrational Numbers

Stage: 4 and 5

Tim Rowland introduces irrational numbers

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.

See the Light

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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

A Little Light Thinking

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

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. . . .

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?

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?

Whole Numbers Only

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Really Mr. Bond

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Prime Magic

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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?

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?

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?

Rachel's Problem

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Is it true that $99^n$ has 2n digits and $999^n$ has 3n digits? Investigate!

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?

Repetitiously

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is the sum of the denominator and numerator?