The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2
digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to
10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
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?
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle
always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an
ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of
expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i)
Calculate. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?
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.
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.
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest.
Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd
one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
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.
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?
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
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
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?
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of
themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The
counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the
minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
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
The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less
than, the square of their means?
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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!
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF.
Similarly the largest. . . .
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
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. . . .
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
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. . . .
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one.
Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is
special about your results.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.