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.
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
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. . . .
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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?
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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. . . .
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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 circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?
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.
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?
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?
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.
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
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.
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
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?
An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?
A picture is made by joining five small quadrilaterals together to make a large quadrilateral. Is it possible to draw a similar picture if all the small quadrilaterals are cyclic?
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
Investigate the number of points with integer coordinates on circles with centres at the origin for which the square of the radius is a power of 5.
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?