Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
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?
A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents
at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q
lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any
point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following
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.
An iterative method for finding the value of the Golden Ratio with explanations of how this involves the ratios of Fibonacci numbers and continued fractions.
Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.
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. . . .
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 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.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School
in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and
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.
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.
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.
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...
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
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.
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.
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.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
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
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. . . .
Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) =
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 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. . . .
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.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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?
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.
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.
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?
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
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
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. . . .
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building
blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations
with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these