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Resources tagged with Mathematical reasoning & proof similar to The Root Cause:

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Mathematical reasoning & proof

The Root Cause

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Prove that if a is a natural number and the square root of a is rational, then it is a square number (an integer n^2 for some integer n.)

Rational Roots

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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 variables.

Stage: 5 Short Challenge Level:

Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?

Iff

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Prove that if n is a triangular number then 8n+1 is a square number. Prove, conversely, that if 8n+1 is a square number then n is a triangular number.

Contrary Logic

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?

Plus or Minus

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Make and prove a conjecture about the value of the product of the Fibonacci numbers $F_{n+1}F_{n-1}$.

The Clue Is in the Question

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Continued Fractions II

Stage: 5

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

Impossible Triangles?

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Which of these triangular jigsaws are impossible to finish?

How Many Solutions?

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Dirisibly Yours

Stage: 5

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.

Try to Win

Stage: 5

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...

Telescoping Functions

Stage: 5

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.

Whole Number Dynamics V

Stage: 4 and 5

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.

Euclid's Algorithm II

Stage: 5

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.

Yih or Luk Tsut K'i or Three Men's Morris

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Where Do We Get Our Feet Wet?

Stage: 5

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

Magic Squares II

Stage: 4 and 5

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

Sums of Squares and Sums of Cubes

Stage: 5

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.

Transitivity

Stage: 5

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.

Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Differences

Stage: 5

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

Whole Number Dynamics IV

Stage: 4 and 5

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?

Recent Developments on S.P. Numbers

Stage: 5

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.

More Sums of Squares

Stage: 5

Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.

Picturing Pythagorean Triples

Stage: 4 and 5

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.

Whole Number Dynamics II

Stage: 4 and 5

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.

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Magic W Wrap Up

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Postage

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Mechanical Integration

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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

Always Perfect

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

Target Six

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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

Pair Squares

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Polite Numbers

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Modular Fractions

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Angle Trisection

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

Whole Number Dynamics I

Stage: 4 and 5

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

Impossible Sandwiches

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

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.

Whole Number Dynamics III

Stage: 4 and 5

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.

Pythagorean Triples II

Stage: 3 and 4

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

Pythagorean Triples I

Stage: 3 and 4

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!

Proof of Pick's Theorem

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.

A Knight's Journey

Stage: 4 and 5

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

A Computer Program to Find Magic Squares

Stage: 5

This follows up the 'magic Squares for Special Occasions' article which tells you you to create a 4by4 magicsquare with a special date on the top line using no negative numbers and no repeats.

Folding Fractions

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

Pythagoras Proofs

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

Notty Logic

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.

Exponential Intersection

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Can the pdfs and cdfs of an exponential distribution intersect?

Direct Logic

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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