2003 AIME I Problems/Problem 6

Problem

The sum of the areas of all triangles whose vertices are also vertices of a $1$ by $1$ by $1$ cube is $m + \sqrt{n} + \sqrt{p},$ where $m, n,$ and $p$ are integers. Find $m + n + p.$

Solution

[asy] size(120); defaultpen(linewidth(0.5)); import three; draw(unitcube); draw((1,0,0)--(1,0,1)--(1,1,1)--cycle,linewidth(0.9)); [/asy] [asy] size(120); defaultpen(linewidth(0.5)); import three; draw(unitcube); draw((1,0,0)--(0,1,0)--(0,1,1)--cycle,linewidth(0.9)); [/asy] [asy] size(120); defaultpen(linewidth(0.5)); import three; draw(unitcube); draw((1,0,0)--(0,1,0)--(1,1,1)--cycle,linewidth(0.9)); [/asy]

Since there are $8$ vertices of a cube, there are ${8 \choose 3} = 56$ total triangles to consider. They fall into three categories: there are those which are entirely contained within a single face of the cube (whose sides are two edges and one face diagonal), those which lie in a plane perpendicular to one face of the cube (whose sides are one edge, one face diagonal and one space diagonal of the cube) and those which lie in a plane oblique to the edges of the cube, whose sides are three face diagonals of the cube.

Each face of the cube contains ${4\choose 3} = 4$ triangles of the first type, and there are $6$ faces, so there are $24$ triangles of the first type. Each of these is a right triangle with legs of length $1$, so each triangle of the first type has area $\frac 12$.

Each edge of the cube is a side of exactly $2$ of the triangles of the second type, and there are $12$ edges, so there are $24$ triangles of the second type. Each of these is a right triangle with legs of length $1$ and $\sqrt 2$, so each triangle of the second type has area $\frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}$.

Each vertex of the cube is associated with exactly one triangle of the third type (whose vertices are its three neighbors), and there are $8$ vertices of the cube, so there are $8$ triangles of the third type. Each of the these is an equilateral triangle with sides of length $\sqrt 2$, so each triangle of the third type has area $\frac{\sqrt 3}2$.

Thus the total area of all these triangles is $24 \cdot \frac12 + 24\cdot\frac{\sqrt2}2 + 8\cdot\frac{\sqrt3}2 = 12 + 12\sqrt2 + 4\sqrt3 = 12 + \sqrt{288} + \sqrt{48}$ and the answer is $12 + 288 + 48 = \boxed{348}$.

See also

2003 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 5
Followed by
Problem 7
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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