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.

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?

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 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 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?

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is the sum of the denominator and numerator?

Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?

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?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

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?

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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?

Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?

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 diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nÂ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

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.

Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram

Is it true that $99^n$ has 2n digits and $999^n$ has 3n digits? Investigate!

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. . . .

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. . . .

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?

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?

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

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.

The number 12 = 2^2 × 3 has 6 factors. What is the smallest natural number with exactly 36 factors?

How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?

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.

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?

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?

This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.

Can you work out how many of each kind of pencil this student bought?

Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?

How many zeros are there at the end of the number which is the product of first hundred positive integers?

Suppose you had to begin the never ending task of writing out the natural numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... and so on. What would be the 1000th digit you would write down.

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. . . .

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

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...

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" .

Can you find any two-digit numbers that satisfy all of these statements?

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.

What can you say about the values of n that make $7^n + 3^n$ a multiple of 10? Are there other pairs of integers between 1 and 10 which have similar properties?

How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?

Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...