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. . . .
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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 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 discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
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. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
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. . . .
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.
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?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
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. . . .
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
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.
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
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.
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
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?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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.
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.
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?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
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.
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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 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!
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.
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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.