An introduction to the ideas of public key cryptography using small numbers to explain the process. In practice the numbers used are too large to factorise in a reasonable time.
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.
Make a line of green and a line of yellow rods so that the lines differ in length by one (a white rod)
In how many ways can the number 1 000 000 be expressed as the product of three positive integers?
Take any pair of numbers, say 9 and 14. Take the larger number, fourteen, and count up in 14s. Then divide each of those values by the 9, and look at the remainders.
How many divisors does factorial n (n!) have?
Find the smallest numbers a, b, and c such that: a^2 = 2b^3 = 3c^5 What can you say about other solutions to this problem?
Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.
Show that it is rare for a ratio of ratios to be rational.
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.
The sum of the cubes of two numbers is 7163. What are these numbers?
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?