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...
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.
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.
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 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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
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. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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?
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. . . .
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.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School
in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and
universal then you should read this article.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of
the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
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. . . .
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
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?
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and
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 of two or more cubes.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of
themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?
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.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
Given that a, b and c are natural numbers show that if sqrt a+sqrt
b is rational then it is a natural number. Extend this to 3
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
Explore a number pattern which has the same symmetries in different bases.
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive