L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of
themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
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?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
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.
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of
the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP
must be less than 10 cm.
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. . . .
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
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.
This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the
completion of the square into the correct order to prove the
formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.
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?
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 sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length.
Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral
shown in red is a rhombus.
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.
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
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.
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?
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 five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
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. . . .
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less
than, the square of their means?
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?
Which hexagons tessellate?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
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.
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.
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
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?
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope
trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to
any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected
graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree. . . .
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?
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show
that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a
square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked
with dots lie on one line?
The diagonal of a square intersects the line joining one of the unused corners to the midpoint of the opposite side. What do you notice about the line segments produced?
An iterative method for finding the value of the Golden Ratio with explanations of how this involves the ratios of Fibonacci numbers and continued fractions.
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. . . .
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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 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 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.