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 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. . . .
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
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. . . .
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
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.
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. . . .
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
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?
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.
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?
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?
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. . . .
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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. . . .
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.
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic 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.
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
If for any triangle ABC tan(A - B) + tan(B - C) + tan(C - A) = 0 what can you say about the triangle?
Do you have enough information to work out the area of the shaded quadrilateral?
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.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
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!
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.
Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
As a quadrilateral Q is deformed (keeping the edge lengths constnt) the diagonals and the angle X between them change. Prove that the area of Q is proportional to tanX.
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.
Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.
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?
Can you work out where the blue-and-red brick roads end?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
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.
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?