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Mathematics Magazine Problem 1822

Mathematics Magazine Problem 1822

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Published by Jacob Richey

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Published by: Jacob Richey on Jul 07, 2010
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07/07/2010

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The following is a problem from Mathematics Magazine I found interesting (despite a nasty appear-ance):Let
u
and
v
be positive real numbers. Prove that 
18
17
2
u vu
2
v
2
uv
3
vu
3
u
v
1
u
1
v
 and find conditions under which equality holds.My first step was simply to notice that when
u
v
we have
18
17
1
1
1
42
2
2 Equality! Now, we really only have two inequalities to prove- that the leftmost expression is less than orequal to the middle one, and that the middle one is less than or equal to the rightmost one. Thenwe've proved the whole thing.I started with the middle and right expressions. They certainly don't look very nice; before we digin, we can expand the product under the square root: 
uv
3
vu
3
2
uv
vu
This is where the trickery comes in: noticing that
uv
and
vu
are the only two variable expressions, we 
 
 can make the simple substitution
uv
1
vu
to make this a single-variable inequality:
1
3
1
3
2
1
1
2
We'll make one more substitution for convenience (getting rid of the cube roots):
n
3
, which gives
n
1
n
2
n
3
n
3
1
2
n
2
n
2
n
3
n
3
And now we can see the design of the problem. How are we to prove this? Notice first that in theoriginal inequality
u
and
v
are interchangeable and that
uv
, so proving this for
Ε
0,1
or
n
 
Ε
(0,1) is equivalent to proving it for
n
Ε
1,
if one of those ends up being easier. But, the methodI used didn't need that: we first make a function
 f 
 x
defined for
 x
0 (it's even so this is all we'llneed):
 f 
 x
Α
 x
Α
 x
Taking the derivative we have
 f 
'
 x
Log
 x
Α
 x
Log
 x
Α
 x
0when
x
0. So
 x
0 is a critical point: the derivative ispositive on (0,
), an since 3>2 we have the desired result.Now we have to prove the other side of this:
18
17
2
u vu
2
v
2
1
3
1
3
 
2
 
Mathematics Magazine Problem 1822.nb

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