Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves
twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
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
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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. . . .
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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 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.
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. . . .
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Mark a point P inside a closed curve. Is it always possible to find
two points that lie on the curve, such that P is the mid point of
the line joining these two points?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show
that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
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.
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
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
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.
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.
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for
practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.
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.
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
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.
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. . . .
Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is
multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square
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.
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.
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.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?