1996 AHSME Problems/Problem 29

Problem

If $n$ is a positive integer such that $2n$ has $28$ positive divisors and $3n$ has $30$ positive divisors, then how many positive divisors does $6n$ have?

$\text{(A)}\ 32\qquad\text{(B)}\ 34\qquad\text{(C)}\ 35\qquad\text{(D)}\ 36\qquad\text{(E)}\ 38$

Solution 1

Working with the second part of the problem first, we know that $3n$ has $30$ divisors. We try to find the various possible prime factorizations of $3n$ by splitting $30$ into various products of $1, 2$ or $3$ integers.

$30 \rightarrow p^{29}$

$2 \cdot 15 \rightarrow pq^{14}$

$3\cdot 10 \rightarrow p^2q^9$

$5\cdot 6 \rightarrow p^4q^5$

$2\cdot 3\cdot 5 \rightarrow pq^2r^4$

The variables $p, q, r$ are different prime factors, and one of them must be $3$. We now try to count the factors of $2n$, to see which prime factorization is correct and has $28$ factors.

In the first case, $p=3$ is the only possibility. This gives $2n = 2\cdot p^{28}$, which has $2\cdot {29}$ factors, which is way too many.

In the second case, $p=3$ gives $2n = 2q^{14}$. If $q=2$, then there are $16$ factors, while if $q\neq 2$, there are $2\cdot 15 = 30$ factors.

In the second case, $q=3$ gives $2n = 2p3^{13}$. If $p=2$, then there are $3\cdot 13$ factors, while if $p\neq 2$, there are $2\cdot 2 \cdot 13$ factors.

In the third case, $p=3$ gives $2n = 2\cdot 3\cdot q^9$. If $q=2$, then there are $11\cdot 2 = 22$ factors, while if $q \neq 2$, there are $2\cdot 2\cdot 10$ factors.

In the third case, $q=3$ gives $2n = 2\cdot p^2\cdot 3^8$. If $p=2$, then there are $4\cdot 9$ factors, while if $p \neq 2$, there are $2\cdot 3\cdot 9$ factors.

In the fourth case, $p=3$ gives $2n = 2\cdot 3^3\cdot q^5$. If $q=2$, then there are $7\cdot 4= 28$ factors. This is the factorization we want.

Thus, $3n = 3^4 \cdot 2^5$, which has $5\cdot 6 = 30$ factors, and $2n = 3^3 \cdot 2^6$, which has $4\cdot 7 = 28$ factors.

In this case, $6n = 3^4\cdot 2^6$, which has $5\cdot 7 = 35$ factors, and the answer is $\boxed{C}$


Solution 2

Because $2n$ has $28$ factors and $3n$ has $30$ factors, we should rewrite the number $n = 2^{e_1}3^{e_2}... p_n^{e_n}$ As the formula for the number of divisors for such a number gives: $(e_1+1)(e_2+1)... (e_n+1)$ We plug in the variations we need to make for the cases $2n$ and $3n$. $2n$ has $(e_1+2)(e_2+1)(e_3+1)... (e_n+1) = 28$ $3n$ has $(e_1+1)(e_2+2)(e_3+1)...(e_n+1) = 30$

If we take the top and divide by the bottom, we get the following equation: $\frac{(e_1+2)(e_2+1)}{(e_1+1)(e_2+2)} = \frac{14}{15}$. Letting $e_1=x$ and $e_2 = y$ for convenience and expanding this out gives us: $xy-13x+16y+2=0$

We can use Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick (SFFT) to turn this back into: $(x+16)(y-13) +2 + 208 = 0$ $(x+16)(y-13) = - 210$

As we want to be dealing with rather reasonable numbers for $x$ and $y$, we try to make the $x+16$ term the slightly larger term and the $y-13$ term the slightly smaller term. This effect is achieved when $x+16 = 21$ and $y-13 = -10$. Therefore, $x = 5, y = 3$. We get that this already satisfies the requirements for the number we are looking for, and we take $(5+2)(3+2) = \boxed{35}$

See also

1996 AHSME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 28
Followed by
Problem 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
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