Suppose A always beats B and B always beats C, then would you expect A to beat C? Not always! What seems obvious is not always true. Results always need to be proved in mathematics.
The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .
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. . . .
Prove that you cannot form a Magic W with a total of 12 or less or with a with a total of 18 or more.
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Take a number, add its digits then multiply the digits together, then multiply these two results. If you get the same number it is an SP number.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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.
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.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the completion of the square into the correct order to prove the formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.
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.
We continue the discussion given in Euclid's Algorithm I, and here we shall discover when an equation of the form ax+by=c has no solutions, and when it has infinitely many solutions.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
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?
This problem is a sequence of linked mini-challenges leading up to the proof of a difficult final challenge, encouraging you to think mathematically. Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how. . . .
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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. . . .
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
With n people anywhere in a field each shoots a water pistol at the nearest person. In general who gets wet? What difference does it make if n is odd or even?
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
An article about the strategy for playing The Triangle Game which appears on the NRICH site. It contains a simple lemma about labelling a grid of equilateral triangles within a triangular frame.
Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.
Show that for natural numbers x and y if x/y > 1 then x/y>(x+1)/(y+1}>1. Hence prove that the product for i=1 to n of [(2i)/(2i-1)] tends to infinity as n tends to infinity.
A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree has. . . .
Peter Zimmerman from Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London gives a neat proof that: 5^(2n+1) + 11^(2n+1) + 17^(2n+1) is divisible by 33 for every non negative integer n.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
Prove that in every tetrahedron there is a vertex such that the three edges meeting there have lengths which could be the sides of a triangle.
An account of methods for finding whether or not a number can be written as the sum of two or more squares or as the sum of two or more cubes.
Explore a number pattern which has the same symmetries in different bases.
Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?
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.
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.
This follows up the 'magic Squares for Special Occasions' article which tells you you to create a 4by4 magicsquare with a special date on the top line using no negative numbers and no repeats.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?