2005 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 24

Problem

For each positive integer $n > 1$, let $P(n)$ denote the greatest prime factor of $n$. For how many positive integers $n$ is it true that both $P(n) = \sqrt{n}$ and $P(n+48) = \sqrt{n+48}$?

$\textbf{(A) } 0\qquad \textbf{(B) } 1\qquad \textbf{(C) } 3\qquad \textbf{(D) } 4\qquad \textbf{(E) } 5$

Solution 1

If $P(n) = \sqrt{n}$, then $n = p_{1}^{2}$, where $p_{1}$ is a prime number.

If $P(n+48) = \sqrt{n+48}$, then $n + 48$ is a square, but we know that n is $p_{1}^{2}$.


This means we just have to check for squares of primes, add $48$ and look whether the root is a prime number. We can easily see that the difference between two consecutive square after $576$ is greater than or equal to $49$, Hence we have to consider only the prime numbers till $23$.

Squaring prime numbers below $23$ including $23$ we get the following list.

$4 , 9 , 25 , 49 , 121, 169 , 289 , 361 , 529$

But adding $48$ to a number ending with $9$ will result in a number ending with $7$, but we know that a perfect square does not end in $7$, so we can eliminate those cases to get the new list.

$4 , 25 , 121 , 361$

Adding $48$, we get $121$ as the only possible solution. Hence the answer is $\boxed{\textbf{(B) }1}$.

edited by mobius247

Note: Solution 1

Since all primes greater than $2$ are odd, we know that the difference between the squares of any two consecutive primes greater than $2$ is at least $(p+2)^2-p^2=4p+4$, where p is the smaller of the consecutive primes. For $p>11$, $4p+4>48$. This means that the difference between the squares of any two consecutive primes both greater than $11$ is greater than $48$, so $n$ and $n+48$ can't both be the squares of primes if $n=p^2$ and $p>11$. So, we only need to check $n=2^2, 3^2, 5^2, 7^2,$ and $11^2$.

~apsid

Video Solution

CHECK OUT Video Solution:https://youtu.be/IsqrsMkR-mA

~rudolf1279

Solution 2

If $P(n) = \sqrt{n}$, then $n = p_{1}^{2}$, where $p_{1}$ is a prime number.

If $P(n+48) = \sqrt{n+48}$, then $n+48 = p_{2}^{2}$, where $p_{2}$ is a different prime number.

So:

$p_{2}^{2} = n+48$

$p_{1}^{2} = n$

$p_{2}^{2} - p_{1}^{2} = 48$

$(p_{2}+p_{1})(p_{2}-p_{1})=48$

Since $p_{1} > 0$ : $(p_{2}+p_{1}) > (p_{2}-p_{1})$.

Looking at pairs of divisors of $48$, we have several possibilities to solve for $p_{1}$ and $p_{2}$:

$(p_{2}+p_{1}) = 48$

$(p_{2}-p_{1}) = 1$

$p_{1} = \frac{47}{2}$

$p_{2} = \frac{49}{2}$


$(p_{2}+p_{1}) = 24$

$(p_{2}-p_{1}) = 2$

$p_{1} = 11$

$p_{2} = 13$


$(p_{2}+p_{1}) = 16$

$(p_{2}-p_{1}) = 3$

$p_{1} = \frac{13}{2}$

$p_{2} = \frac{19}{2}$


$(p_{2}+p_{1}) = 12$

$(p_{2}-p_{1}) = 4$

$p_{1} = 4$

$p_{2} = 8$


$(p_{2}+p_{1}) = 8$

$(p_{2}-p_{1}) = 6$

$p_{1} = 1$

$p_{2} = 7$


The only solution $(p_{1} , p_{2})$ where both numbers are primes is $(11,13)$.

Therefore the number of positive integers $n$ that satisfy both statements is $\boxed{\textbf{(B) }1}.$

See Also

2005 AMC 10A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 23
Followed by
Problem 25
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
All AMC 10 Problems and Solutions

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