Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Mathematical reasoning & proof

Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

Same Length

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Matter of Scale

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

Parallel Universe

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An equilateral triangle is constructed on BC. A line QD is drawn, where Q is the midpoint of AC. Prove that AB // QD.

L-triominoes

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Konigsberg Plus

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Convex Polygons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

Archimedes and Numerical Roots

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Disappearing Square

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .

Cyclic Quadrilaterals

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

Mediant Madness

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?

Angle Trisection

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

Unit Fractions

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Gift of Gems

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

Concrete Wheel

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

Rhombus in Rectangle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Tessellating Hexagons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Which hexagons tessellate?

Picture Story

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

The Triangle Game

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

Yih or Luk Tsut K'i or Three Men's Morris

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Sprouts Explained

Age 7 to 18

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. . . .

Similarly So

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Dicing with Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Flight of the Flibbins

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

Tourism

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Go Forth and Generalise

Age 11 to 14

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.

Königsberg

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Perfectly Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

Pareq Exists

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.

Proof Sorter - Quadratic Equation

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the completion of the square into the correct order to prove the formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.

The Pillar of Chios

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.

Square Mean

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

Towering Trapeziums

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?

Cosines Rule

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.

Janine's Conjecture

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Clocked

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

A Chordingly

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.

One O Five

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Lens Angle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.

Folding Fractions

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?

Triangular Intersection

Age 14 to 16 Short Challenge Level:

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

More Number Sandwiches

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

Pythagorean Triples II

Age 11 to 16

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Kite in a Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

Pythagorean Triples I

Age 11 to 16

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!

Converse

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Magic Squares II

Age 14 to 18

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

Find the Fake

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Ratty

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?