The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
Nine cross country runners compete in a team competition in which there are three matches. If you were a judge how would you decide who would win?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
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?
Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the 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?
Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
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 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.
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.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
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.
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.
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.
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!
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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. . . .
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
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.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?