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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
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.
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
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. . . .
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.
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.
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?
An account of methods for finding whether or not a number can be written as the sum of two or more squares or as the sum of two or more cubes.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
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. . . .
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. . . .
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
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?
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.
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.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
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?
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.
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
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.
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?
Peter Zimmerman from Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London gives a neat proof that: 5^(2n+1) + 11^(2n+1) + 17^(2n+1) is divisible by 33 for every non negative integer n.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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!
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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. . . .
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
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. . . .