Prove that you cannot form a Magic W with a total of 12 or less or with a with a total of 18 or more.
Suppose A always beats B and B always beats C, then would you expect A to beat C? Not always! What seems obvious is not always true. Results always need to be proved in mathematics.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
This is the second of two articles and discusses problems relating to the curvature of space, shortest distances on surfaces, triangulations of surfaces and representation by graphs.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
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. . . .
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
Here is a proof of Euler's formula in the plane and on a sphere together with projects to explore cases of the formula for a polygon with holes, for the torus and other solids with holes and the. . . .
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
An article about the strategy for playing The Triangle Game which appears on the NRICH site. It contains a simple lemma about labelling a grid of equilateral triangles within a triangular frame.
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. . . .
A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree has. . . .
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
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.
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Mark a point P inside a closed curve. Is it always possible to find two points that lie on the curve, such that P is the mid point of the line joining these two points?
Freddie Manners, of Packwood Haugh School in Shropshire solved an alphanumeric without using the extra information supplied and this article explains his reasoning.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
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.
Take a triangular number, multiply it by 8 and add 1. What is special about your answer? Can you prove it?
Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory (a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers and integer-valued functions)
Sort these mathematical propositions into a series of 8 correct statements.
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. . . .
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
A polite number can be written as the sum of two or more consecutive positive integers. Find the consecutive sums giving the polite numbers 544 and 424. What characterizes impolite numbers?
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
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.
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.