Ranging from kindergarten mathematics to the fringe of research this informal article paints the big picture of number in a non technical way suitable for primary teachers and older students.
Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and keep repeating this. What happens?
Imagine a machine with four coloured lights which respond to different rules. Can you find the smallest possible number which will make all four colours light up?
Complete the following expressions so that each one gives a four digit number as the product of two two digit numbers and uses the digits 1 to 8 once and only once.
This investigation is about happy numbers in the World of the Octopus where all numbers are written in base 8 ... Find all the fixed points and cycles for the happy number sequences in base 8.
Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?
Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.
Find the number which has 8 divisors, such that the product of the divisors is 331776.
Helen made the conjecture that "every multiple of six has more factors than the two numbers either side of it". Is this conjecture true?
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
Using the digits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, mulitply a two two digit numbers are multiplied to give a four digit number, so that the expression is correct. How many different solutions can you find?
How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?
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?
How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?
Can you work out how many of each kind of pencil this student bought?
Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...
The number 12 = 2^2 × 3 has 6 factors. What is the smallest natural number with exactly 36 factors?
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once it must represent the same digit each time.
Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start with 12. . . .
What is the last digit of the number 1 / 5^903 ?
Show that 8778, 10296 and 13530 are three triangular numbers and that they form a Pythagorean triple.
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
Find the maximum value of 1/p + 1/q + 1/r where this sum is less than 1 and p, q, and r are positive integers.
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is the sum of the denominator and numerator?
The number 10112359550561797752808988764044943820224719 is called a 'slippy number' because, when the last digit 9 is moved to the front, the new number produced is the slippy number multiplied by 9.
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
There are some water lilies in a lake. The area that they cover doubles in size every day. After 17 days the whole lake is covered. How long did it take them to cover half the lake?
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. . . .
When asked how old she was, the teacher replied: My age in years is not prime but odd and when reversed and added to my age you have a perfect square...
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Find out about palindromic numbers by reading this article.
In how many ways can a pound (value 100 pence) be changed into some combination of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence coins?
Tim Rowland introduces irrational numbers
What are the last two digits of 2^(2^2003)?
When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is represented by an "x" .
Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you make two lights switch on at once? Three lights? All four lights?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
This task depends on learners sharing reasoning, listening to opinions, reflecting and pulling ideas together.
Can you find any two-digit numbers that satisfy all of these statements?
Which numbers can we write as a sum of square numbers?
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?
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?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nĀ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram