The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection.
Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had
put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number.
Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this
process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
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?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
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
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?
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take
three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then
add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
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?
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.
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when
the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the
intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that
10201 is composite in any base.
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship
between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on
AB as diameter?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
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.
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 discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a
surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces
(top, bottom, front and back) is equal?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier
than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two
weighings of the balance?
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
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.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the
digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what
happens in general.
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
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.
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope
trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations
with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
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?
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
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.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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!
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?