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.
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.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
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. . . .
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .
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.
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?
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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?
Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?
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.
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?
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?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
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. . . .
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
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.
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
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.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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?
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.
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 looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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!
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.
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?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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. . . .
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.