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Resources tagged with Mathematical reasoning & proof similar to Spotting the Loophole:

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Mathematical reasoning & proof

9 Weights

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

Dicing with Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

The Triangle Game

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

A Knight's Journey

Age 14 to 18

This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

Truth Tables and Electronic Circuits

Age 11 to 18

Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.

Chocolate Maths

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

One O Five

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Go Forth and Generalise

Age 11 to 14

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.

Yih or Luk Tsut K'i or Three Men's Morris

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Konigsberg Plus

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

Disappearing Square

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Air Nets

Age 7 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.

Sticky Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

Janine's Conjecture

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Eleven

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.

Convex Polygons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

Triangle Inequality

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Ratty

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?

Rolling Coins

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .

Picture Story

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

Natural Sum

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Cycle It

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Cross-country Race

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

Tessellating Hexagons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Which hexagons tessellate?

Concrete Wheel

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Clocked

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Top-heavy Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

Pattern of Islands

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

Proofs with Pictures

Age 14 to 18

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

Sprouts Explained

Age 7 to 18

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. . . .

What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

What Numbers Can We Make?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Iffy Logic

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?

Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

The Golden Ratio, Fibonacci Numbers and Continued Fractions.

Age 14 to 16

An iterative method for finding the value of the Golden Ratio with explanations of how this involves the ratios of Fibonacci numbers and continued fractions.

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Con Tricks

Age 11 to 14

Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.

To Prove or Not to Prove

Age 14 to 18

A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.

Tourism

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Logic

Age 7 to 14

What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.

A Chordingly

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.

Coins on a Plate

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Unit Fractions

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Age 7 to 14

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.

Children at Large

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?