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Broad Topics > Numbers and the Number System > Number theory How Much Can We Spend?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know? Always Perfect

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square. Number Rules - OK

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number... Where Can We Visit?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think? Differences

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the product of their differences will always be an even number? There's a Limit

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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 Little Light Thinking

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you make two lights switch on at once? Three lights? All four lights? An Introduction to Number Theory

Age 16 to 18

An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory Data Chunks

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Data is sent in chunks of two different sizes - a yellow chunk has 5 characters and a blue chunk has 9 characters. A data slot of size 31 cannot be exactly filled with a combination of yellow and. . . . The Public Key

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find 180 to the power 59 (mod 391) to crack the code. To find the secret number with a calculator we work with small numbers like 59 and 391 but very big numbers are used in the real world for this. Ordered Sums

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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 One in Seven Chance

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

What is the remainder when 2^{164}is divided by 7? 2^n -n Numbers

Age 16 to 18

Yatir from Israel wrote this article on numbers that can be written as $2^n-n$ where n is a positive integer. Age 16 to 18

What is the relationship between the arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means of two numbers, the sides of a right angled triangle and the Golden Ratio? More Sums of Squares

Age 16 to 18

Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares. Sums of Squares and Sums of Cubes

Age 16 to 18

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. Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Differences

Age 16 to 18

Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic. Really Mr. Bond

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

115^2 = (110 x 120) + 25, that is 13225 895^2 = (890 x 900) + 25, that is 801025 Can you explain what is happening and generalise? Strange Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

All strange numbers are prime. Every one digit prime number is strange and a number of two or more digits is strange if and only if so are the two numbers obtained from it by omitting either. . . . Never Prime

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. More Marbles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour? Marbles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades? Helen's Conjecture

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Helen made the conjecture that "every multiple of six has more factors than the two numbers either side of it". Is this conjecture true? Novemberish

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

a) A four digit number (in base 10) aabb is a perfect square. Discuss ways of systematically finding this number. (b) Prove that 11^{10}-1 is divisible by 100. Mod 7

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find the remainder when 3^{2001} is divided by 7. Diophantine N-tuples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares? Pythagorean Golden Means

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that the arithmetic mean, geometric mean and harmonic mean of a and b can be the lengths of the sides of a right-angles triangle if and only if a = bx^3, where x is the Golden Ratio. Euler's Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...