# Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Mathematical reasoning & proof ##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ### Composite Notions

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base. ### Thousand Words

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram? ### Geometric Parabola

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence. ### Unit Interval

##### Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product? ### Square Mean

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means? ### Without Calculus

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right? ### Integral Inequality

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions. ### Telescoping Functions

##### Age 16 to 18

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. ### Always Perfect

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square. ### Perfectly Square

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why? ### Impossible Sandwiches

##### Age 11 to 18

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. ### Sperner's Lemma

##### Age 16 to 18

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. ### Zig Zag

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked with dots lie on one line? ### Janine's Conjecture

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . . ### An Introduction to Number Theory

##### Age 16 to 18

An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory (a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers and integer-valued functions) ### Find the Fake

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin? ### Our Ages

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I? ### Pythagorean Golden Means

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ### Dodgy Proofs

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

These proofs are wrong. Can you see why? ### Common Divisor

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n. ### Big, Bigger, Biggest

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which is the biggest and which the smallest of $2000^{2002}, 2001^{2001} \text{and } 2002^{2000}$? ### Tetra Inequalities

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Prove that in every tetrahedron there is a vertex such that the three edges meeting there have lengths which could be the sides of a triangle. ### Diverging

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ### Converse

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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? ### How Many Solutions?

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation. ### Rational Roots

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given that a, b and c are natural numbers show that if sqrt a+sqrt b is rational then it is a natural number. Extend this to 3 variables. ### Three Ways

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra. ### Sixational

##### Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. . . . ### Pythagorean Triples II

##### Age 11 to 16

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers. ### Proof of Pick's Theorem

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem. ### Polite Numbers

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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? ### Prime AP

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime? ### Mechanical Integration

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values. ### Pythagorean Triples I

##### Age 11 to 16

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! ### Little and Large

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the vertices? ### Target Six

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions. ### Angle Trisection

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square. ### Pair Squares

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ### Picturing Pythagorean Triples

##### Age 14 to 18

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. ### Where Do We Get Our Feet Wet?

##### Age 16 to 18

Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started. ### Triangular Intersection

##### Age 14 to 16 Short Challenge Level:

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have? ### Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Differences

##### Age 16 to 18

Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic. ### Folding Fractions

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding? ### More Number Sandwiches

##### Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches? ### Particularly General

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases. ### Calculating with Cosines

##### Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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? ### Interpolating Polynomials

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. ### More Dicey Decisions

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?