This is an interactivity in which you have to sort into the correct
order the steps in the proof of the formula for the sum of a
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?
Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you
notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms
if the fraction goes on indefinitely?
Generalise the sum of a GP by using derivatives to make the
coefficients into powers of the natural numbers.
The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of
the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How
many return to the starting point?
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations
with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
Factorial one hundred (written 100!) has 24 noughts when written in full and that 1000! has 249 noughts? Convince yourself that the above is true. Perhaps your methodology will help you find the. . . .
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.
By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.
How many different cubes can be painted with three blue faces and
three red faces? A boy (using blue) and a girl (using red) paint
the faces of a cube in turn so that the six faces are painted. . . .
A 'doodle' is a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking
pencil from paper. Only two lines cross at each intersection or
vertex (never 3), that is the vertex points must be 'double points'
not. . . .
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.
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. . . .
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...
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 orf two or more cubes.
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.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
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. . . .
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
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.
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.
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.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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!
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
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.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions
by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
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