1977 IMO Problems/Problem 5


Let $a,b$ be two natural numbers. When we divide $a^2+b^2$ by $a+b$, we the the remainder $r$ and the quotient $q.$ Determine all pairs $(a, b)$ for which $q^2 + r = 1977.$


Using $r=1977-q^2$, we have $a^2+b^2=(a+b)q+1977-q^2$, or $q^2-(a+b)q+a^2+b^2-1977=0$, which implies $\Delta=7908+2ab-2(a^2+b^2)\ge 0$. If we now assume Wlog that $a\ge b$, it follows $a+b\le 88$. If $q\le 43$, then $r=1977-q^2\ge 128$, contradicting $r<a+b\le 88$. But $q\le 44$ from $q^2+r=1977$, thus $q=44$. It follows $r=41$, and we get $a^2+b^2=44(a+b)+41\Leftrightarrow (a-22)^2+(b-22)^2=1009\in \mathbb{P}$. By Jacobi's two squares theorem, we infer that $15^2+28^2=1009$ is the only representation of $1009$ as a sum of squares. This forces $\boxed{(a,b)=(37,50) , (7, 50)}$, and permutations. $\blacksquare$

The above solution was posted and copyrighted by cobbler. The original thread for this problem can be found here: [1]

See Also

1977 IMO (Problems) • Resources
Preceded by
Problem 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 Followed by
Problem 6
All IMO Problems and Solutions