# 1993 AHSME Problems/Problem 30

## Problem

Given $0\le x_0<1$, let $$x_n=\left\{ \begin{array}{ll} 2x_{n-1} &\text{ if }2x_{n-1}<1 \\ 2x_{n-1}-1 &\text{ if }2x_{n-1}\ge 1 \end{array}\right.$$ for all integers $n>0$. For how many $x_0$ is it true that $x_0=x_5$? $\text{(A) 0} \quad \text{(B) 1} \quad \text{(C) 5} \quad \text{(D) 31} \quad \text{(E) }\infty$

## Solution

We are going to look at this problem in binary. $x_0 = (0.a_1 a_2 \cdots )_2$ $2x_0 = (a_1.a_2 a_3 \cdots)_2$

If $2x_0 < 1$, then $x_0 < \frac{1}{2}$ which means that $a_1 = 0$ and so $x_1 = (.a_2 a_3 a_4 \cdots)_2$

If $2x_0 \geq 1$ then $x \geq \frac{1}{2}$ which means that $x_1 = 2x_0 - 1 = (.a_2 a_3 a_4 \cdots)_2$.

Using the same logic, we notice that this sequence cycles and that since $x_0 = x_5$ we notice that $a_n = a_{n+5}$.

We have $2$ possibilities for each of $a_1$ to $a_5$ but we can't have $a_1 = a_2 = a_3 = a_4 = a_5 = 1$ so we have $2^5 - 1 = \boxed{(D)31}$

-mathman523

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