# 2010 IMO Problems/Problem 3

## Problem

Find all functions $g:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\mathbb{N}$ such that $\left(g(m)+n\right)\left(g(n)+m\right)$ is a perfect square for all $m,n\in\mathbb{N}.$

Author: Gabriel Carroll, USA

## Solution

Suppose such function $g$ exist then:

Lemma 1) $g(m) \ne g(m+1)$

Assume for contradiction that $g(m) = g(m+1)$ $\left(g(m+1)+m\right)\left(g(m)+m+1\right)$ has to be a perfect square


but $\left(g(m)+m\right)^2<\left(g(m+1)+m\right)\left(g(m)+m+1\right)<\left(g(m)+m+1\right)^2$.

A square cannot be between 2 consecutive squares. Contradiction. Thus, $g(m) \ne g(m+1)$


Lemma 2) $|g(m)-g(m+1)| = 1$ (we have show that it can't be 0)

Assume for contradiction, that $|g(m)-g(m+1)| > 1$.


Then there must exist a prime number $p$ such that $g(m)$ and $g(m+1)$ are in the same residue class modulo $p$.

If $|g(m)-g(m+1)| = p^aq$ where $q$ is not divisible by $p$.

If $a=1$.

Consider an $n$ such that $g(m)+n =p^3$ $g(m+1)+n = p^3 \pm pq =p (r)$ , where $r$ is not divisible by $p$


If $a>1$.

Consider an $n$ such that $g(m)+n =p$ $g(m+1)+n = p \pm p^aq =p (r)$ , where $r$ is not divisible by $p$


At least one of $g(n)+m$ , $g(n)+m+1$ is not divisible by $p$. Hence,

At least one of $(g(m+1)+n )(g(n)+m +1)$, $(g(m)+n )(g(n)+m)$ is divisible by an odd amount of $p$.


Hence, that number is not a perfect square.

If $g(m)-g(m+1) = 1$, then $g(x) = -x + k$, $k\in\mathbb{N}$. $(g(1)+2)(g(2)+1)=(1+k)(-1+k)$, which is not perfect square because $(n)(n+2)$ is never a perfect square.


If $g(m)-g(m+1) = -1$, then $g(x) = x + k$, $k\in\mathbb{N}$. $(g(m)+n)(g(n)+m)=(n+m+k)^2$

Thus, $g(x)=x+k$, $k\in\mathbb{N}$