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## #1 2012-09-28 23:37:04

zetafunc.
Guest

### Triangle Problem

Hi, I'm a bit stuck on this problem. I am using an algebraic approach but maybe a geometric approach would be more efficient, I do not know.

"Let a, b and c be the lengths of the sides of a triangle. Suppose that ab + bc + ca = 1. Show that (a+1)(b+1)(c+1) < 4."

I used the arithmetic/harmonic mean inequality to get:

9abc ≤ a + b + c

But I don't really think this is useful. Can anyone give me a push in the right direction?

Thanks.

## #2 2012-09-28 23:46:49

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Substitutions into that inequality also yield things like

but I still can't see how to use that.

## #3 2012-09-29 00:33:44

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

I also have

but I still can't see where this is going. Am I going to have to draw a picture of this at some point? Obviously the triangle is equilateral for the case a = b = c, but the objective of this problem does not seem to be concerned with specific cases.

## #4 2012-09-29 00:37:08

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

Hi;

Expanding out and using the constraint gets:

But I am not going anywhere quick from here.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #5 2012-09-29 00:41:39

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

I noticed that too... but I am avoiding the temptation to try to work backwards. I mustn't try to show that if (a+1)(b+1)(c+1) < 4, then ab + bc + ca = 1.

## #6 2012-09-29 00:46:26

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

This is an Olympiad problem but I do not remember it and I did not write down the solution.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #7 2012-09-29 00:50:09

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Yes, it is from BMO Round 1 2010. But unfortunately the solutions are not available online... well, they are available, but you have to pay a lot of money for them.

## #8 2012-09-29 08:05:02

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

I have noticed that

But, I am not sure what to do from here.

## #9 2012-09-29 08:13:44

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

Hi zetafunc.;

Are you sure of that?

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #10 2012-09-29 08:17:29

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Hmm, it looks like it isn't. I didn't check properly. I expanded the LHS by hand then used WolframAlpha to expand the RHS because I was lazy, and they don't match. darn.

## #11 2012-09-29 08:19:42

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

But,

so maybe it is useful...

## #12 2012-09-29 08:25:39

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Sorry, that was stupid. What I meant was:

which is definitely correct.

## #13 2012-09-29 08:32:28

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

Hi;

That is not checking out.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #14 2012-09-29 08:35:24

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Sorry again. Subtract 2 from the LHS. That does it for sure. Then, noting that -[2(ab + bc + ca) + 2] = -4...

## #15 2012-09-29 08:38:33

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Wait, but then I get the same thing in post #8 if you replace the 2 with 2(ab + bc + ca). I'm confused.

## #16 2012-09-29 09:07:51

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Wait, surely this problem is solved then? Because clearly (a-1)(b-1)(c-1) is smaller than zero, so set that LHS to less than 0 and you get their inequality... is that a valid solution?

## #17 2012-09-29 09:20:09

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

There was a constant in there that you have left out.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

zetafunc.
Guest

Where?

## #19 2012-09-29 09:40:58

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

In my feeble brain. It appears to be gone now.

I have:

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

zetafunc.
Guest

But

Clearly,

so,

and therefore

or am I wrong?

## #21 2012-09-29 09:50:42

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

Hi;

Your second line, why is that less than 0?

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #22 2012-09-29 09:51:58

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

Because ab + bc + ca = 1, so a, b and c are all smaller than 1, and therefore each term (a-1), (b-1) and (c-1) is negative, so the product of those three terms if also negative and therefore smaller than zero.

## #23 2012-09-29 09:54:43

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

And also, a, b and c are all greater than 0 (they're sides of a triangle).

## #24 2012-09-29 10:05:15

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Triangle Problem

Because ab + bc + ca = 1, so a, b and c are all smaller than 1

Can you prove that mathematically?

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

Offline

## #25 2012-09-29 10:07:09

zetafunc.
Guest

### Re: Triangle Problem

The equation factorises to these three:

a(b + c) + bc = 1
b(a + c) + ca = 1
c(a + b) + ab = 1

so surely a, b and c must all be smaller than 1?