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. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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. . . .
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
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. . . .
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.
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?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
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?
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.
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. . . .
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
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. . . .
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.
Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?
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.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
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. . . .
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
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.
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square. Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with this property. Generalise to four integers.
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.
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.
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. . . .
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.
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
This follows up the 'magic Squares for Special Occasions' article which tells you you to create a 4by4 magicsquare with a special date on the top line using no negative numbers and no repeats.
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?