The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .
Prove that you cannot form a Magic W with a total of 12 or less or
with a with a total of 18 or more.
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How
many return to the starting point?
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?
A polite number can be written as the sum of two or more
consecutive positive integers. Find the consecutive sums giving the
polite numbers 544 and 424. What characterizes impolite numbers?
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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. . . .
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope
trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
Suppose A always beats B and B always beats C, then would you
expect A to beat C? Not always! What seems obvious is not always
true. Results always need to be proved in mathematics.
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations:
x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.
This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .
Show that the infinite set of finite (or terminating) binary
sequences can be written as an ordered list whereas the infinite
set of all infinite binary sequences cannot.
This is the second of two articles and discusses problems relating
to the curvature of space, shortest distances on surfaces,
triangulations of surfaces and representation by graphs.
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.
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for
practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
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. . . .
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
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. . . .
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
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
The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square.
Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with
this property. Generalise to four integers.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle
always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
Here is a proof of Euler's formula in the plane and on a sphere together with projects to explore cases of the formula for a polygon with holes, for the torus and other solids with holes and the. . . .
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?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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?
Prove that in every tetrahedron there is a vertex such that the
three edges meeting there have lengths which could be the sides of
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.
Show that for natural numbers x and y if x/y > 1 then x/y>(x+1)/(y+1}>1. Hence prove that the product for i=1 to n of [(2i)/(2i-1)] tends to infinity as n tends to infinity.
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory
This problem is a sequence of linked mini-challenges leading up to the proof of a difficult final challenge, encouraging you to think mathematically. Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how. . . .
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.
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of
themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
An account of methods for finding whether or not a number can be written as the sum of two or more squares or as the sum of two or more cubes.