1993 USAMO Problems/Problem 1
For each integer , determine, with proof, which of the two positive real numbers and satisfying is larger.
Square and rearrange the first equation and also rearrange the second. It is trivial that since clearly cannot equal (Otherwise ). Thus where we substituted in equations (1) and (2) to achieve (5). Notice that from we have . Thus, if , then . Since , multiplying the two inequalities yields , a contradiction, so . However, when equals or , the first equation becomes meaningless, so we conclude that for each integer , we always have .
Define and . By Descarte's Rule of Signs, both polynomials' only positive roots are and , respectively. With the Intermediate Value Theorem and the fact that and , we have . Thus, , which means that . Also, we find that . All that remains to prove is that , or . We can then conclude that is between and from the Intermediate Value Theorem. From the first equation given, . Subtracting gives us , which is clearly true, as . Therefore, we conclude that .
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