I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?
I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
Nine cross country runners compete in a team competition in which there are three matches. If you were a judge how would you decide who would win?
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?
This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .
From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .
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. . . .
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
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.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
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. . . .
Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?
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.
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. . . .
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.
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.
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.
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Can you find all the 4-ball shuffles?
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
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.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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.
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red dashed. . . .
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 make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
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.
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. . . .
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
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. . . .
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.
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?
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. . . .
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?