Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Tetra Inequalities

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Prove that in every tetrahedron there is a vertex such that the three edges meeting there have lengths which could be the sides of a triangle.

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Our Ages

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?

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Diverging

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that for natural numbers x and y if x/y > 1 then x/y>(x+1)/(y+1}>1. Hence prove that the product for i=1 to n of [(2i)/(2i-1)] tends to infinity as n tends to infinity.

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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?

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Euclid's Algorithm II

Age 16 to 18

We continue the discussion given in Euclid's Algorithm I, and here we shall discover when an equation of the form ax+by=c has no solutions, and when it has infinitely many solutions.

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Dalmatians

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Mediant Madness

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Impossible Triangles?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which of these triangular jigsaws are impossible to finish?

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Unit Interval

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

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Quadratic Harmony

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations: x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.

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Always Perfect

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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Integral Inequality

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.

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Iffy Logic

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?

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Big, Bigger, Biggest

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which is the biggest and which the smallest of $2000^{2002}, 2001^{2001} \text{and } 2002^{2000}$?

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Without Calculus

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given that u>0 and v>0 find the smallest possible value of 1/u + 1/v given that u + v = 5 by different methods.

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More Number Sandwiches

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

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Proximity

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.

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Three Ways

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

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Exhaustion

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2

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How Many Solutions?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

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Diophantine N-tuples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

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Euler's Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...

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Polite Numbers

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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?

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Target Six

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.

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Prime AP

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime?

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Sixational

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

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Modular Fractions

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

We only need 7 numbers for modulus (or clock) arithmetic mod 7 including working with fractions. Explore how to divide numbers and write fractions in modulus arithemtic.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Little and Large

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the vertices?

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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!

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Pythagorean Triples II

Age 11 to 16

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

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Can it Be

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?

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Telescoping Functions

Age 16 to 18

Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.

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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?

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Where Do We Get Our Feet Wet?

Age 16 to 18

Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.

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Thousand Words

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?

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Particularly General

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

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Interpolating Polynomials

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Dodgy Proofs

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?

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A Long Time at the Till

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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?

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Geometric Parabola

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.

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The Clue Is in the Question

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?

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Notty Logic

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.

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Contrary Logic

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?

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Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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Water Pistols

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

With n people anywhere in a field each shoots a water pistol at the nearest person. In general who gets wet? What difference does it make if n is odd or even?

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Picturing Pythagorean Triples

Age 14 to 18

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.