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.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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.
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.
Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
Sort these mathematical propositions into a series of 8 correct statements.
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.
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Prove that if a is a natural number and the square root of a is rational, then it is a square number (an integer n^2 for some integer n.)
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
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.
Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.
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 rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.
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.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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!
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
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.
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. . . .
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.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.
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 if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
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?
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.
Which of these triangular jigsaws are impossible to finish?
Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.