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?

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?

Use this interactivity to sort out the steps of the proof of the formula for the sum of an arithmetic series. The 'thermometer' will tell you how you are doing

Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?

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. . . .

Given that u>0 and v>0 find the smallest possible value of 1/u + 1/v given that u + v = 5 by different methods.

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.

Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

This is an interactivity in which you have to sort into the correct order the steps in the proof of the formula for the sum of a geometric series.

A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.

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?

Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.

Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.

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...

Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.

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.

Peter Zimmerman from Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London gives a neat proof that: 5^(2n+1) + 11^(2n+1) + 17^(2n+1) is divisible by 33 for every non negative integer n.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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. . . .

We only need 7 numbers for modulus (or clock) arithmetic mod 7 including working with fractions. Explore how to divide numbers and write fractions in modulus arithemtic.

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

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.

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.

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?

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.

A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the vertices?

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 this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).

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 looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.

When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

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?

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?