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.
If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
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.
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.
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. . . .
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
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?
Given that u>0 and v>0 find the smallest possible value of
1/u + 1/v given that u + v = 5 by different methods.
Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always
possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the
relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special
points and add multiples of these values.
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?
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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...
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
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.
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.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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 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.
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 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?
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
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 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.
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.
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these