Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
A job needs three men but in fact six people do it. When it is finished they are all paid the same. How much was paid in total, and much does each man get if the money is shared as Fred suggests?
Visitors to Earth from the distant planet of Zub-Zorna were amazed when they found out that when the digits in this multiplication were reversed, the answer was the same! Find a way to explain. . . .
Choose any four consecutive even numbers. Multiply the two middle numbers together. Multiply the first and last numbers. Now subtract your second answer from the first. Try it with your own. . . .
Think of a number Multiply it by 3 Add 6 Take away your start number Divide by 2 Take away your number. (You have finished with 3!) HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
Think of a number and follow the machine's instructions... I know what your number is! Can you explain how I know?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
I added together the first 'n' positive integers and found that my answer was a 3 digit number in which all the digits were the same...
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
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?
The Number Jumbler can always work out your chosen symbol. Can you work out how?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
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?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
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...
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
Brian swims at twice the speed that a river is flowing, downstream from one moored boat to another and back again, taking 12 minutes altogether. How long would it have taken him in still water?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
A circle of radius r touches two sides of a right angled triangle, sides x and y, and has its centre on the hypotenuse. Can you prove the formula linking x, y and r?
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is the area of the shaded square?
Account of an investigation which starts from the area of an annulus and leads to the formula for the difference of two squares.
Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I know?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
The heptathlon is an athletics competition consisting of 7 events. Can you make sense of the scoring system in order to advise a heptathlete on the best way to reach her target?
Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...