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Solutions to problems for independent study

Problem 1. Find all real triples (x, y, z) that satisfy x4 + y 4 + z 4 4xyz = 1.

Solution:

The left side is equal to (x2 y 2 )2 + 2x2 y 2 + z 4 4xyz. The presence of 2x2 y 2 and 4xyz suggests
the possibility of adding a 2z 2 and then completing one more square. So the equation can be rewritten
as (x2 y 2 )2 + (z 2 1)2 + 2(xy z)2 = 0. This equality can hold only if all three squares are equal to
zero. From z 2 1 = 0 we have z = 1, and after a quick analysis we conclude that the solutions are
(1, 1, 1), (1, 1, 1), (1, 1, 1).

Problem 2. Solve the system of equations


(x + y)3 = z
(y + z)3 = x
(z + x)3 = y

Solution:

Subtracting the second equation from the first we obtain


(x z)((x + y)2 + (x + y)(y + z) + (y + z)2 ) = z x
Since (x + y)2 + (x + y)(y + z) + (y + z)2 > 0, we obtain x = z. By symmetry y = z,and we are left with
1
solving the equation 8x3 = x. This equation has the solutions x = 0 and x = 2 2
. It follows that the
1 1
solutions to the given system of equations are x = y = z = 0, x = y = z =
2 2
and x = y = z = 2 2
.

Problem 3. Solve in real numbers the system of equations


1
x4 + 2y 3 x = + 3 3
4
4 3 1
y + 2x y = 3 3
4

Solution:

Adding the given equations yields


1 1
x4 + 2x3 x + + y 4 + 2y 3 y + = 0,
4 4

1
or equivalently,
 2  2
2 1 2 1
x +x + y +y = 0.
2 2
Also, from
 theequations

of the systemwe have

x 6=y.Testing the two candidates
1 3 1+ 3 1+ 3 1 3
(x, y) = 2 , 2 and (x, y) = 2 , 2 we see that only the first satisfies the equations of
the system.

Problem 4. Solve the system

3(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) = 1
x2 y 2 + y 2 z 2 + z 2 x2 = xyz(x + y + z)3

Solution:

We have that

(xy + yz + zx)2 = x2 y 2 + y 2 z 2 + z 2 x2 + 2xyz(x + y + z)


(x + y + z)2 = x2 + y 2 + z 2 + 2(xy + yz + zx)

Multiplying by 2 the second equation of the original system we obtain

2(x2 y 2 +y 2 z 2 +z 2 x2 ) = 2xyz(x+y +z)3 = [(xy +yz +zx)2 x2 y 2 y 2 z 2 z 2 x2 ][x2 +y 2 +z 2 +2(xy +yz +zx)]

Let

x2 y 2 + y 2 z 2 + z 2 x2 = a
xy + yz + zx = b

Yields  
2 1
2a = (b a) + 2b
3
Solving for a we have
6b3 + b2
a=
6b + 7
But note that

(xy + yz + zx)2 = x2 y 2 + y 2 z 2 + z 2 x2 + 2xyz(x + y + z) 3(x2 y 2 + y 2 z 2 + z 2 x2 )

2
b2
Hence a 3. So
6b3 + b2 b2

6b + 7 3
but 13 + 2b = (x + y + z)2 0 6b + 1 0 6b + 7 > 0, it follows that 18b3 + 3b2 6b3 + 7b2
4b2 (3b 1) 0 so if b 6= 0 then b 13 . This implies xy + yz + zx x2 + y 2 + z 2 but it is well-known
that x2 + y 2 + z 2 xy + yz + zx, hence x2 + y 2 + z 2 = xy + yz + zx and x = y = z. Substituying in
the first equation of the system we obtain the solutions (x, y, z) = ( 31 , 13 , 13 ) and (x, y, z) = ( 31 , 31 , 13 ).

3
Note that b = 0 a = 0 xy = 0, yz = 0, zx = 0, so we have (x, y, z) = (0, 0, 3 ), (x, y, z) =

3 3
(0, 3 , 0), (x, y, z) = ( 3 , 0, 0).

Problem 5. Solve the system

x+y+z = 2
p p p
2x + yz + 2y + zx + 2z + xy = 4

Hint: AM - QM inequality.

Solution:

r
2x + yz +
2y + zx + 2z + xy 2(x + y + z) + xy + yz + zx

3 3
by AM-QM inequality. Using the equations of our system we obtain
4
xy + yz + zx (1)
3
at the other hand
4 = (x + y + z)2 = x2 + y 2 + z 2 + 2(xy + yz + zx)
so by (1) we have
4
x2 + y 2 + z 2
3
and by transitivity
xy + yz + zx x2 + y 2 + z 2
but it is well-known that
x2 + y 2 + z 2 xy + yz + zx
hence
x2 + y 2 + z 2 = xy + yz + zx

3
that is to say
(x y)2 + (y z)2 + (z x)2 = 0
and finally the solution is x = y = z = 23 .

Problem 6. Find all real numbers a for which there exist nonnegative real numbers x1 , x2 , x3 , x4 , x5
satisfying the system
5
X
kxk = a
k=1
5
X
k 3 xk = a2
k=1
5
X
k 5 xk = a3
k=1

Hint: Cauchy - Schwarz inequality.

Solution:

Note that (0, 0, 0, 0, 0) is a solution. Let us assume that x1 , x2 , x3 , x4 , x5 is a nontrivial solution. From the
equations of the system it follows that
5
!2 5
! 5 !
X X X
3 5
k xk = kxk k xk
k=1 k=1 k=1
 np o
On the other hand, the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality applied to the sequences kxk k=1,...,5
and k 5 xk
k=1,...,5
gives
5
!2 5
! 5
!
X X X
3 5
k xk kxk k xk
k=1 k=1 k=1
So we have equality
in the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, and hence the two sequences are proportional. For
k5 x
xk 6= 0 we have kx k = k 2 , and since all these values are distinct, it follows that xk 6= 0 for exactly one
k
k. We conclude that the only possible values for a are 0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25.

Roberto Bosch Cabrera, Florida, USA.


bobbydrg@gmail.com