# 1987 AIME Problems/Problem 7

## Problem

Let $[r,s]$ denote the least common multiple of positive integers $r$ and $s$. Find the number of ordered triples $(a,b,c)$ of positive integers for which $[a,b] = 1000$, $[b,c] = 2000$, and $[c,a] = 2000$.

## Solution 1

It's clear that we must have $a = 2^j5^k$, $b = 2^m 5^n$ and $c = 2^p5^q$ for some nonnegative integers $j, k, m, n, p, q$. Dealing first with the powers of 2: from the given conditions, $\max(j, m) = 3$, $\max(m, p) = \max(p, j) = 4$. Thus we must have $p = 4$ and at least one of $m, j$ equal to 3. This gives 7 possible triples $(j, m, p)$: $(0, 3, 4), (1, 3, 4), (2, 3, 4), (3, 3, 4), (3, 2, 4), (3, 1, 4)$ and $(3, 0, 4)$.

Now, for the powers of 5: we have $\max(k, n) = \max(n, q) = \max(q, k) = 3$. Thus, at least two of $k, n, q$ must be equal to 3, and the other can take any value between 0 and 3. This gives us a total of 10 possible triples: $(3, 3, 3)$ and three possibilities of each of the forms $(3, 3, n)$, $(3, n, 3)$ and $(n, 3, 3)$.

Since the exponents of 2 and 5 must satisfy these conditions independently, we have a total of $7 \cdot 10 = 70$ possible valid triples.

## Solution 2

$1000 = 2^35^3$ and $2000 = 2^45^3$. By looking at the prime factorization of $2000$, $c$ must have a factor of $2^4$. If $c$ has a factor of $5^3$, then there are two cases: either (1) $a$ or $b = 5^32^3$, or (2) one of $a$ and $b$ has a factor of $5^3$ and the other a factor of $2^3$. For case 1, the other number will be in the form of $2^x5^y$, so there are $4 \cdot 4 = 16$ possible such numbers; since this can be either $a$ or $b$ there are a total of $2(16)-1=31$ possibilities. For case 2, $a$ and $b$ are in the form of $2^35^x$ and $2^y5^3$, with $x < 3$ and $y < 3$ (if they were equal to 3, it would overlap with case 1). Thus, there are $2(3 \cdot 3) = 18$ cases.

If $c$ does not have a factor of $5^3$, then at least one of $a$ and $b$ must be $2^35^3$, and both must have a factor of $5^3$. Then, there are $4$ solutions possible just considering $a = 2^35^3$, and a total of $4 \cdot 2 - 1 = 7$ possibilities. Multiplying by three, as $0 \le c \le 2$, there are $7 \cdot 3 = 21$. Together, that makes $31 + 18 + 21 = 70$ solutions for $(a, b, c)$.

 1987 AIME (Problems • Answer Key • Resources) Preceded byProblem 6 Followed byProblem 8 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 All AIME Problems and Solutions