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.

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. . . .

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. . . .

Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .

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.

How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?

Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?

I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?

The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!

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?

Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.

An article about the strategy for playing The Triangle Game which appears on the NRICH site. It contains a simple lemma about labelling a grid of equilateral triangles within a triangular frame.

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.

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

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

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree has. . . .

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?

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.

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

A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.

Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?

Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?

Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.

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.

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.

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

Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?

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.

A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

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.

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

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.

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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. . . .

Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.

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 article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?

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!

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.