The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF.
Similarly the largest. . . .
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
Mark a point P inside a closed curve. Is it always possible to find
two points that lie on the curve, such that P is the mid point of
the line joining these two points?
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and
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. . . .
Prove Pythagoras Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves
twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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. . . .
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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?
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 is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the
completion of the square into the correct order to prove the
formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.
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
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.
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. . . .
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
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
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.
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
A quadrilateral inscribed in a unit circle has sides of lengths s1, s2, s3 and s4 where s1 ≤ s2 ≤ s3 ≤ s4.
Find a quadrilateral of this type for which s1= sqrt2 and show s1 cannot. . . .
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.
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show
that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find
the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the
first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB
and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q
such that APCQ is a rhombus.
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.
Start with any triangle T1 and its inscribed circle. Draw the
triangle T2 which has its vertices at the points of contact between
the triangle T1 and its incircle. Now keep repeating this. . . .
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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!
Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a
square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked
with dots lie on one line?
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
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.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.