Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Mathematical reasoning & proof

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. . . .

Gabriel's Problem

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Gabriel multiplied together some numbers and then erased them. Can you figure out where each number was?

The Genie in the Jar

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .

9 Weights

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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?

Sticky Numbers

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

Largest Product

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?

The Great Weights Puzzle

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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?

Even So

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?

Postage

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Adding All Nine

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .

Eleven

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.

Aba

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.

What Numbers Can We Make?

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Not Necessarily in That Order

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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?

Tis Unique

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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.

More Mathematical Mysteries

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Top-heavy Pyramids

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

Common Divisor

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

N000ughty Thoughts

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

DOTS Division

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

A Biggy

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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.

Take Three from Five

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

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?

The Triangle Game

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

Children at Large

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

Elevenses

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Power Mad!

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Chocolate Maths

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Mod 3

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

Neighbourly Addition

Age 7 to 14
Challenge Level

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

Number Rules - OK

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you produce convincing arguments that a selection of statements about numbers are true?

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. . . .

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?

Gift of Gems

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

Tri-colour

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?

Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Age 5 to 18
Challenge Level

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.

Marbles

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?

More Marbles

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?

Why 24?

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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.

Knight Defeated

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Pattern of Islands

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

Greetings

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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. . . .

Composite Notions

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

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.

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

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.

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.

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. . . .

Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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?