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.
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection.
Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had
put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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 serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
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. . . .
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.
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.
An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.
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?
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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.
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
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.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
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?
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?
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of
the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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. . . .
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...
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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. . . .
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 make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Prove that in every tetrahedron there is a vertex such that the
three edges meeting there have lengths which could be the sides of
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. . . .
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these
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?
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of
themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
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. . . .
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive
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.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
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?
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions
by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
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?
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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.