The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
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.
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?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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
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.
An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.
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
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School
in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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.
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. . . .
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?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.
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.
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
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.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and
universal then you should read this article.
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.
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take
three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then
add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Three equilateral triangles ABC, AYX and XZB are drawn with the
point X a moveable point on AB. The points P, Q and R are the
centres of the three triangles. What can you say about triangle
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?
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. . . .
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
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?
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.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
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. . . .
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.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.