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.
By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
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?
Given that u>0 and v>0 find the smallest possible value of 1/u + 1/v given that u + v = 5 by different methods.
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
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.
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/...)).
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.
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
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.
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. . . .
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Here is a proof of Euler's formula in the plane and on a sphere together with projects to explore cases of the formula for a polygon with holes, for the torus and other solids with holes and the. . . .
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.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's 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!
A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the vertices?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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.
Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations: x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
A polite number can be written as the sum of two or more consecutive positive integers. Find the consecutive sums giving the polite numbers 544 and 424. What characterizes impolite numbers?
The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square. Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with this property. Generalise to four integers.
Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.
What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime?
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.
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
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?
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
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?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.