List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
What is the remainder when 2^2002 is divided by 7? What happens with different powers of 2?
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?
Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by 5?
In this article for teachers, Bernard Bagnall describes how to find digital roots and suggests that they can be worth exploring when confronted by a sequence of numbers.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
The flow chart requires two numbers, M and N. Select several values for M and try to establish what the flow chart does.
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?
Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?
How many four digit square numbers are composed of even numerals? What four digit square numbers can be reversed and become the square of another number?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the product of their differences will always be an even number?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
Think of any three-digit number. Repeat the digits. The 6-digit number that you end up with is divisible by 91. Is this a coincidence?
Amazing as it may seem the three fives remaining in the following `skeleton' are sufficient to reconstruct the entire long division sum.
What is the value of the digit A in the sum below: [3(230 + A)]^2 = 49280A
The number 8888...88M9999...99 is divisible by 7 and it starts with the digit 8 repeated 50 times and ends with the digit 9 repeated 50 times. What is the value of the digit M?
Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.
6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1. The highest power of 2 that divides exactly into 6! is 4 since (6!) / (2^4 ) = 45. What is the highest power of two that divides exactly into 100!?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
A game that tests your understanding of remainders.
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
Find the number which has 8 divisors, such that the product of the divisors is 331776.
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. . . .
Find the highest power of 11 that will divide into 1000! exactly.
The five digit number A679B, in base ten, is divisible by 72. What are the values of A and B?
A number N is divisible by 10, 90, 98 and 882 but it is NOT divisible by 50 or 270 or 686 or 1764. It is also known that N is a factor of 9261000. What is N?
I put eggs into a basket in groups of 7 and noticed that I could easily have divided them into piles of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and always have one left over. How many eggs were in the basket?
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587, 3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
How many numbers less than 1000 are NOT divisible by either: a) 2 or 5; or b) 2, 5 or 7?
I'm thinking of a number. When my number is divided by 5 the remainder is 4. When my number is divided by 3 the remainder is 2. Can you find my number?
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Here is a Sudoku with a difference! Use information about lowest common multiples to help you solve it.
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
Details are given of how check codes are constructed (using modulus arithmetic for passports, bank accounts, credit cards, ISBN book numbers, and so on. A list of codes is given and you have to check. . . .
Given any 3 digit number you can use the given digits and name another number which is divisible by 37 (e.g. given 628 you say 628371 is divisible by 37 because you know that 6+3 = 2+7 = 8+1 = 9). . . .
Find the values of n for which 1^n + 8^n - 3^n - 6^n is divisible by 6.
Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made it gives access to many similar ideas.
Consider numbers of the form un = 1! + 2! + 3! +...+n!. How many such numbers are perfect squares?
Suppose an operator types a US Bank check code into a machine and transposes two adjacent digits will the machine pick up every error of this type? Does the same apply to ISBN numbers; will a machine. . . .
This article takes the reader through divisibility tests and how they work. An article to read with pencil and paper to hand.
The four digits 5, 6, 7 and 8 are put at random in the spaces of the number : 3 _ 1 _ 4 _ 0 _ 9 2 Calculate the probability that the answer will be a multiple of 396.
Lyndon chose this as one of his favourite problems. It is accessible but needs some careful analysis of what is included and what is not. A systematic approach is really helpful.
In this article we shall consider how to solve problems such as "Find all integers that leave a remainder of 1 when divided by 2, 3, and 5."