The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.
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 the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
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...
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. . . .
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms if the fraction goes on indefinitely?
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.
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
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.
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!
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
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. . . .
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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?
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.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
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 discover whether this is a fair game?
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.