2002 USAMO Problems/Problem 2


Let $ABC$ be a triangle such that

$\left( \cot \frac{A}{2} \right)^2 + \left( 2 \cot \frac{B}{2} \right)^2 + \left( 3 \cot \frac{C}{2} \right)^2 = \left( \frac{6s}{7r} \right)^2$,

where $s$ and $r$ denote its semiperimeter and inradius, respectively. Prove that triangle $ABC$ is similar to a triangle $T$ whose side lengths are all positive integers with no common divisor and determine those integers.


Let $a,b,c$ denote $BC, CA, AB$, respectively. Since the line from a triangle's incenter to one of its vertices bisects the angle at the triangle's vertex, the condition of the problem is equivalent to the

$\left( \frac{s-a}{r} \right)^2 + 4\left( \frac{s-b}{r} \right)^2 + 9\left( \frac{s-c}{r} \right)^2 = \left( \frac{6s}{7r} \right)^2$,


$\frac{(s-a)^2}{36} + \frac{(s-b)^2}{9} + \frac{(s-c)^2}{4} = \frac{s^2}{36 + 9 + 4}$.

But by the Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality, we know

$\begin{matrix} (36 + 9 + 4) \left[ \frac{(s-a)^2}{36} + \frac{(s-b)^2}{9} + \frac{(s-c)^2}{4} \right] & \ge &\left[ (s-a) + (s-b) + (s-c) \right]^2\\ & = & s^2 \\ \qquad\qquad \quad \quad \frac{(s-a)^2}{36} + \frac{(s-b)^2}{9} + \frac{(s-c)^2}{4} & \ge &\frac{s^2}{36 + 9 + 4} \; , \end{matrix}$

with equality only when $\frac{(s-a)^2}{36}, \frac{(s-b)^2}{9}, \frac{(s-c)^2}{4}$ are directly proportional to 36, 9, 4, respectively. Therefore (clearing denominators and taking square roots) our problem requires that $(s-a), (s-b), (s-c)$ be directly proportional to 36, 9, 4, and since $a = (s-b) + (s-c)$ etc., this is equivalent to the condition that $a,b,c$ be in proportion with 13, 40, 45, Q.E.D.

Sidenote: A 13, 40, 45 obtuse triangle has an integer area of 252 and an inradius of $\frac{36}{7}$.

Alternate solutions are always welcome. If you have a different, elegant solution to this problem, please add it to this page.

See also

2002 USAMO (ProblemsResources)
Preceded by
Problem 1
Followed by
Problem 3
1 2 3 4 5 6
All USAMO Problems and Solutions

The problems on this page are copyrighted by the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competitions. AMC logo.png


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