2018 AIME I Problems/Problem 6


Let $N$ be the number of complex numbers $z$ with the properties that $|z|=1$ and $z^{6!}-z^{5!}$ is a real number. Find the remainder when $N$ is divided by $1000$.

Solution 1

Let $a=z^{120}$. This simplifies the problem constraint to $a^6-a \in \mathbb{R}$. This is true if $\text{Im}(a^6)=\text{Im}(a)$. Let $\theta$ be the angle $a$ makes with the positive x-axis. Note that there is exactly one $a$ for each angle $0\le\theta<2\pi$. This must be true for $12$ values of $a$ (it may help to picture the reference angle making one orbit from and to the positive x-axis; note every time $\sin\theta=\sin{6\theta}$). For each of these solutions for $a$, there are necessarily $120$ solutions for $z$. Thus, there are $12*120=1440$ solutions for $z$, yielding an answer of $\boxed{440}$.

Solution 2

The constraint mentioned in the problem is equivalent to the requirement that the imaginary part is equal to $0$. Since $|z|=1$, let $z=\cos \theta + i\sin \theta$, then we can write the imaginary part of $\Im(z^{6!}-z^{5!})=\Im(z^{720}-z^{120})=\sin\left(720\theta\right)-\sin\left(120\theta\right)=0$. Using the sum-to-product formula, we get $\sin\left(720\theta\right)-\sin\left(120\theta\right)=2\cos\left(\frac{720\theta+120\theta}{2}\right)\sin\left(\frac{720\theta-120\theta}{2}\right)=2\cos\left(\frac{840\theta}{2}\right)\sin\left(\frac{600\theta}{2}\right)\implies \cos\left(\frac{840\theta}{2}\right)=0$ or $\sin\left(\frac{600\theta}{2}\right)=0$. The former yields $840$ solutions, and the latter yields $600$ solutions, giving a total of $840+600=1440$ solution, so our answer is $\boxed{440}$.

Solution 3

As mentioned in solution one, for the difference of two complex numbers to be real, their imaginary parts must be equal. We use exponential form of complex numbers. Let $z = e^{i \theta}$. We have two cases to consider. Either $z^{6!} = z^{5!}$, or $z^{6!}$ and $z^{5!}$ are reflections across the imaginary axis. If $z^{6!} = z^{5!}$, then $e^{6! \theta i} = e^{5! \theta i}$. Thus, $720 \theta = 120 \theta$ or $600\theta = 0$, giving us 600 solutions. (Equalities are taken modulo $2 \pi$) For the second case, $e^{6! \theta i} = e^{(\pi - 5!\theta)i}$. This means $840 \theta = \pi$, giving us 840 solutions. Our total count is thus $1440$, yielding a final answer of $\boxed{440}$.

Solution 4

Because $|z| = 1,$ we know that $z\overline{z} = 1^2 = 1.$ Hence $\overline{z} = \frac 1 {z}.$ Because $z^{6!}-z^{5!}$ is real, it is equal to its complex conjugate. Hence $z^{6!}-z^{5!} = \overline{z^{6!}}-\overline{z^{5!}}.$ Substituting the expression we that we derived earlier, we get $z^{720}-z^{120} = \frac 1{z^{720}} - \frac 1{z^{120}}.$ This leaves us with a polynomial whose leading term is $z^{1440}.$ Hence our answer is $\boxed{440}$.

Solution 5

Since $|z|=1$, let $z=\cos \theta + i\sin \theta$. For $z^{6!}-z^{5!}$ to be real, the imaginary parts of $z^{6!}$ and $z^{5!}$ must be equal, so $\sin 720\theta=\sin 120\theta$. We need to find all solutions for $\theta$ in the interval $[0,2\pi)$. This can be done by graphing $y=\sin 720\theta$ and $y=\sin 120\theta$ and finding their intersections. Since the period of $y=\sin 720\theta$ is $\frac{\pi}{360}$ and the period of $y=\sin 120\theta$ is $\frac{\pi}{60}$, the common period of both graphs is $\frac{\pi}{60}$. Therefore, we only graph the functions in the domain $[0, \frac{\pi}{60})$. We can clearly see that there are twelve points of intersection. However, since we only graphed $\frac{1}{120}$ of the interval $[0,2\pi)$, we need to multiply our answer by $120$. The answer is $12 \cdot 120 = 1440 = \boxed{440} (mod 1000)$.

See also

2018 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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