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?
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
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.
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. . . .
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.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
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. . . .
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory
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
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
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.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
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. . . .
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive
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.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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?
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less
than, the square of their means?
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of
the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
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. . . .
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.
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?
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.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School
in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Sort these mathematical propositions into a series of 8 correct
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?
By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and
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 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.
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. . . .
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?
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and
universal then you should read this article.