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

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...

Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?

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.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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

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. . . .

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

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

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 composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

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.

Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

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.

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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?

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?

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.

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

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

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

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!

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?

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.

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. . . .

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

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

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.

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms if the fraction goes on indefinitely?

If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?

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?

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

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.

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.