with equality iﬀ
{
r
−
a
1
,r
−
a
2
,...,r
−
a
2
n
}
=
{
1
,
2
,...,n,
−
1
,
−
2
,...,
−
n
}
.
Therefore, this must be the case, so(
r
−
a
1
) + (
r
−
a
2
) +
···
+ (
r
−
a
2
n
)= 2
nr
−
(
a
1
+
a
2
+
···
+
a
2
n
)= 1 + 2 +
···
+
n
+ (
−
1) + (
−
2) +
···
+ (
−
n
) = 0
⇒
r
=
a
1
+
a
2
+
···
+
a
2
n
2
n.
Example 1.4
. Let 0
< a
1
< a
2
<
···
< a
mn
+1
be
mn
+1 integers. Provethat you can select either
m
+ 1 of them no one of which divides any other,or
n
+ 1 of them each dividing the following one.(1966 Putnam Mathematical Competition)
Solution
. For each
i
, 1
≤
i
≤
mn
+1, let
n
i
be the length of the longestsequence starting with
a
i
and each dividing the following one, among theintegers
a
i
,
a
i
+1
, ...,
a
mn
+1
. If some
n
i
is greater than
n
then the problemis solved. Otherwise, by the pigeonhole principle, there are at least
m
+ 1values of
n
i
that are equal. Then, the integers
a
i
corresponding to these
n
i
cannot divide each other.Useful Facts
•
Bertrand’s Postulate
. For every positive integer
n
, there exists a prime
p
such that
n
≤
p
≤
2
n
.
•
Gauss’s Lemma
. If a polynomial with integer coeﬃcients factors intotwo polynomials with rational coeﬃcients, then it factors into two polynomials with integer coeﬃcients.Problems1. Let
a
and
b
be positive integers such that
a

b
2
,
b
2

a
3
,
a
3

b
4
,
b
4

a
5
,.... Prove that
a
=
b
.2. Let
a
,
b
, and
c
denote three distinct integers, and let
P
denote a polynomial having all integral coeﬃcients. Show that it is impossible that
P
(
a
) =
b
,
P
(
b
) =
c
, and
P
(
c
) =
a
.(1974 USAMO)3