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Resources tagged with Mathematical reasoning & proof similar to Half Past Two:

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

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Paradoxes

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.

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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.

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Tessellating Hexagons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Which hexagons tessellate?

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Cyclic Quadrilaterals

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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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.

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Pent

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Encircling

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?

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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?

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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.

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Three Balls

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?

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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.

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Flight of the Flibbins

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

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Similarly So

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Master Minding

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?

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Königsberg

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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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...

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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.

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Greetings

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Con Tricks

Age 11 to 14

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

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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. . . .

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Volume of a Pyramid and a Cone

Age 11 to 14

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.

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Tri-colour

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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Lens Angle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.

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Thirty Nine, Seventy Five

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Salinon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?

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The Genie in the Jar

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Angle Trisection

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Pythagorean Triples I

Age 11 to 16

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!

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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. . . .

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Long Short

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?

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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. . . .

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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?

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The Triangle Game

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

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Concrete Wheel

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Fitting In

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Triangle Incircle Iteration

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?

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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.

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Proofs with Pictures

Age 14 to 18

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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The Great Weights Puzzle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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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?

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Same Length

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

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Advent Calendar 2011 - Secondary

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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?

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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?

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Power Mad!

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.

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Iffy Logic

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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.