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.
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.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
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.
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.
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?
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive
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 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.
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
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. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How
many return to the starting point?
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these
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. . . .
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...
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see 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 has. . . .
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle
always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
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.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
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. . . .
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
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.
Given that a, b and c are natural numbers show that if sqrt a+sqrt
b is rational then it is a natural number. Extend this to 3
Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and
universal then you should read this article.
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?
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?
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.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
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.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School
in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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. . . .
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of
the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn