In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
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. . . .
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 see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
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. . . .
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?
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.
Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?
Which of these triangular jigsaws are impossible to finish?
What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime?
This is an interactivity in which you have to sort into the correct order the steps in the proof of the formula for the sum of a geometric series.
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Given that a, b and c are natural numbers show that if sqrt a+sqrt b is rational then it is a natural number. Extend this to 3 variables.
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?
Solve this famous unsolved problem and win a prize. Take a positive integer N. If even, divide by 2; if odd, multiply by 3 and add 1. Iterate. Prove that the sequence always goes to 4,2,1,4,2,1...
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. . . .
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
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.
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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.
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.
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.
Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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!
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.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
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.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?
The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.
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.
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.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.
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.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
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.
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?