If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.
ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
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. . . .
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.
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
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.
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?
In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.
This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
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 make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it out.