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. . . .
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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.
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.
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. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
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. . . .
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
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. . . .
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?
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
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. . . .
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
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?
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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. . . .
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Show that the arithmetic mean, geometric mean and harmonic mean of a and b can be the lengths of the sides of a right-angles triangle if and only if a = bx^3, where x is the Golden Ratio.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
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.
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.
If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?
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. . . .
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
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...
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.
By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
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.
Can the pdfs and cdfs of an exponential distribution intersect?
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?