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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
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.
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.
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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.
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.
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
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. . . .
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
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. . . .
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. . . .
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
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?
Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?
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?
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
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. . . .
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
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?
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
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.
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
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.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
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
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.
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.