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.
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Which hexagons tessellate?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for 39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny less! Can. . . .
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.
This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
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.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
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. . . .
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
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.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.