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?
Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect
cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh
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.
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and
once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of
the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged
Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have
exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .
Can you fit Ls together to make larger versions of themselves?
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really
clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not
magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find
the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the
first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is
multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How
many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in
this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear.
How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?
Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the
numbers is a perfect square. Three of the numbers that he found are
a = 18530, b=65570, c=45986. Find the fourth number, x. You. . . .
Take any whole number q. Calculate q^2 - 1. Factorize
q^2-1 to give two factors a and b (not necessarily q+1 and q-1). Put c = a + b + 2q . Then you will find that ab+1 , bc+1 and ca+1 are all. . . .
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?
Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to
get a different number Find the difference between the two three
digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
What can you say about the angles on opposite vertices of any
cyclic quadrilateral? Working on the building blocks will give you
insights that may help you to explain what is special about them.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can
trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I
end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six
distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with
digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the
digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove
that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.
We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of
coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for
39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny
less! Can. . . .
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.
This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
Show that if three prime numbers, all greater than 3, form an
arithmetic progression then the common difference is divisible by
6. What if one of the terms is 3?
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be exactly (n-1) times her age. In m2 years I shall be exactly (n-2) times her age. After that I shall never again be an exact multiple of. . . .
Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you
notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms
if the fraction goes on indefinitely?
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less
than, the square of their means?
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any
point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy
pyramid whose top number is 200.
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.