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

Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Dirisibly Yours

Stage: 5

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.

Prime AP

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime?

More Sums of Squares

Stage: 5

Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.

Mod 3

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

N000ughty Thoughts

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

Sixational

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

Big, Bigger, Biggest

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Which is the biggest and which the smallest of $2000^{2002}, 2001^{2001} \text{and } 2002^{2000}$?

A Biggy

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.

Three Ways

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

Exhaustion

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2

Binomial

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn

Take Three from Five

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

A Long Time at the Till

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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

Particularly General

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

The Great Weights Puzzle

Stage: 4 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?

Water Pistols

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Find the Fake

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Differences

Stage: 5

Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.

Sums of Squares and Sums of Cubes

Stage: 5

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.

Modular Fractions

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

We only need 7 numbers for modulus (or clock) arithmetic mod 7 including working with fractions. Explore how to divide numbers and write fractions in modulus arithemtic.

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.

How Many Solutions?

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

Without Calculus

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 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.

Continued Fractions II

Stage: 5

In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).

Impossible Sandwiches

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

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.

Euclid's Algorithm II

Stage: 5

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.

Transitivity

Stage: 5

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.

Stage: 5 Short Challenge Level:

Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?

The Triangle Game

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

Rational Roots

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Proofs with Pictures

Stage: 5

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

Composite Notions

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

Pareq Exists

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.

Unit Interval

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

Mediant

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Mouhefanggai

Stage: 4

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.

Euler's Formula and Topology

Stage: 5

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. . . .

A Computer Program to Find Magic Squares

Stage: 5

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.

Recent Developments on S.P. Numbers

Stage: 5

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.

Magic Squares II

Stage: 4 and 5

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

Whole Number Dynamics I

Stage: 4 and 5

The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.

No Right Angle Here

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.

Pythagorean Triples II

Stage: 3 and 4

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Proof of Pick's Theorem

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.

Little and Large

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Pythagorean Triples I

Stage: 3 and 4

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!

Whole Number Dynamics III

Stage: 4 and 5

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.