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. . . .
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.
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
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.
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?
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. . . .
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
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?
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
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.
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
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.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
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.
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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. . . .
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
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?
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. . . .
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
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. . . .
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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. . . .
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three 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.
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.
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.
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.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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.
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.
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?
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 first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.