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

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. . . .

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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...

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. . . .

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.

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. . . .

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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

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.

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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.

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

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. . . .

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.

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

Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...

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

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

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?

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

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}.

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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. . . .

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.

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.

Take a triangular number, multiply it by 8 and add 1. What is special about your answer? Can you prove it?