1983 AIME Problems/Problem 12


Diameter $AB$ of a circle has length a $2$-digit integer (base ten). Reversing the digits gives the length of the perpendicular chord $CD$. The distance from their intersection point $H$ to the center $O$ is a positive rational number. Determine the length of $AB$.



Let $AB=10x+y$ and $CD=10y+x$. It follows that $CO=\frac{AB}{2}=\frac{10x+y}{2}$ and $CH=\frac{CD}{2}=\frac{10y+x}{2}$. Scale up this triangle by 2 to ease the arithmetic. Applying the Pythagorean Theorem on $2CO$, $2OH$ and $2CH$, we deduce \[(2OH)^2=\left(10x+y\right)^2-\left(10y+x\right)^2=99(x+y)(x-y)\]

Because $OH$ is a positive rational number and $x$ and $y$ are integral, the quantity $99(x+y)(x-y)$ must be a perfect square. Hence either $x-y$ or $x+y$ must be a multiple of $11$, but as $x$ and $y$ are digits, $1+0=1 \leq x+y \leq 9+9=18$, so the only possible multiple of $11$ is $11$ itself. However, $x-y$ cannot be 11, because both must be digits. Therefore, $x+y$ must equal $11$ and $x-y$ must be a perfect square. The only pair $(x,y)$ that satisfies this condition is $(6,5)$, so our answer is $\boxed{065}$. (Therefore $CD = 56$ and $OH = \frac{33}{2}$.)

See Also

1983 AIME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 11
Followed by
Problem 13
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