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 first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
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.
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
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.
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.
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2
digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to
10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
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?
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...
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of
the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory
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.
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. . . .
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
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.
Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
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 discover whether this is a fair game?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
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.
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.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
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.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School
in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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.
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.
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.
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are
the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it
rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
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. . . .
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
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.
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
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!
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions
by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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. . . .
Investigate the number of points with integer coordinates on
circles with centres at the origin for which the square of the
radius is a power of 5.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and
offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on
experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive