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. . . .
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?
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?
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. . . .
Factorial one hundred (written 100!) has 24 noughts when written in full and that 1000! has 249 noughts? Convince yourself that the above is true. Perhaps your methodology will help you find the. . . .
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?
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
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.
Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations
are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily
in that order. What is each person’s occupation?
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
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.
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.
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 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. . . .
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
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?
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.
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.
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. . . .
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. . . .
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Four jewellers possessing respectively eight rubies, ten saphires,
a hundred pearls and five diamonds, presented, each from his own
stock, one apiece to the rest in token of regard; and they. . . .
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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. . . .
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in
this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
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?
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!
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.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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?
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and
offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on
experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building
blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less
than, the square of their means?
A quadrilateral inscribed in a unit circle has sides of lengths s1, s2, s3 and s4 where s1 ≤ s2 ≤ s3 ≤ s4.
Find a quadrilateral of this type for which s1= sqrt2 and show s1 cannot. . . .
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?
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of
themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?
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.