A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
An article about the strategy for playing The Triangle Game which appears on the NRICH site. It contains a simple lemma about labelling a grid of equilateral triangles within a triangular frame.
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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. . . .
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?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
Take a number, add its digits then multiply the digits together, then multiply these two results. If you get the same number it is an SP number.
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?
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 has. . . .
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
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.
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.
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.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
With n people anywhere in a field each shoots a water pistol at the nearest person. In general who gets wet? What difference does it make if n is odd or even?
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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
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.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
We continue the discussion given in Euclid's Algorithm I, and here we shall discover when an equation of the form ax+by=c has no solutions, and when it has infinitely many solutions.
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. . . .
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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.
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.
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!
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
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?
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.
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.
Solve this famous unsolved problem and win a prize. Take a positive integer N. If even, divide by 2; if odd, multiply by 3 and add 1. Iterate. Prove that the sequence always goes to 4,2,1,4,2,1...
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
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.