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Broad Topics > Numbers and the Number System > Properties of numbers

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Difference Dynamics

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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?

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An Introduction to Irrational Numbers

Age 14 to 18

Tim Rowland introduces irrational numbers

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A Little Light Thinking

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Babylon Numbers

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?

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Robert's Spreadsheet

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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A Long Time at the Till

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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?

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Filling the Gaps

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Which numbers can we write as a sum of square numbers?

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Generating Triples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Few and Far Between?

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you find some Pythagorean Triples where the two smaller numbers differ by 1?

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Fracmax

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Enriching Experience

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Prime Magic

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Times Right

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Really Mr. Bond

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Factorial

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Pair Products

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Odd Differences

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

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What Are Numbers?

Age 7 to 18

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.

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Rachel's Problem

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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