2019 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 18


Henry decides one morning to do a workout, and he walks $\tfrac{3}{4}$ of the way from his home to his gym. The gym is $2$ kilometers away from Henry's home. At that point, he changes his mind and walks $\tfrac{3}{4}$ of the way from where he is back toward home. When he reaches that point, he changes his mind again and walks $\tfrac{3}{4}$ of the distance from there back toward the gym. If Henry keeps changing his mind when he has walked $\tfrac{3}{4}$ of the distance toward either the gym or home from the point where he last changed his mind, he will get very close to walking back and forth between a point $A$ kilometers from home and a point $B$ kilometers from home. What is $|A-B|$?

$\textbf{(A) } \frac{2}{3} \qquad \textbf{(B) } 1 \qquad \textbf{(C) } \frac{6}{5} \qquad \textbf{(D) } \frac{5}{4} \qquad \textbf{(E) } \frac{3}{2}$

Solution 1

Let the two points that Henry walks in between be $P$ and $Q$, with $P$ being closer to home. As given in the problem statement, the distances of the points $P$ and $Q$ from his home are $A$ and $B$ respectively. By symmetry, the distance of point $Q$ from the gym is the same as the distance from home to point $P$. Thus, $A = 2 - B$. In addition, when he walks from point $Q$ to home, he walks $\frac{3}{4}$ of the distance, ending at point $P$. Therefore, we know that $B - A = \frac{3}{4}B$. By substituting, we get $B - A = \frac{3}{4}(2 - A)$. Adding these equations now gives $2(B - A) = \frac{3}{4}(2 + B - A)$. Multiplying by $4$, we get $8(B - A) = 6 + 3(B - A)$, so $B - A = \frac{6}{5} = \boxed{\textbf{(C) } \frac{6}{5}}$.

Solution 2 (not rigorous)

We assume that Henry is walking back and forth exactly between points $P$ and $Q$, with $P$ closer to Henry's home than $Q$. Denote Henry's home as a point $H$ and the gym as a point $G$. Then $HP:PQ = 1:3$ and $PQ:QG = 3:1$, so $HP:PQ:QG = 1:3:1$. Therefore, $|A-B| = PQ = \frac{3}{1+3+1} \cdot 2 = \frac{6}{5} = \boxed{\textbf{(C) } \frac{6}{5}}$.

Solution 3 (not rigorous; similar to 2)

Since Harry is very close to walking back and forth between two points, let us denote $A$ closer to his house, and $B$ closer to the gym. Then, let us denote the distance from $A$ to $B$ as $x$. If Harry was at $B$ and walked $\frac{3}{4}$ of the way, he would end up at $A$, vice versa. Thus we can say that the distance from $A$ to the gym is $\frac{1}{4}$ the distance from $B$ to his house. That means it is $\frac{1}{3}x$. This also applies to the other side. Furthermore, we can say $\frac{1}{3}x$ + $x$ + $\frac{1}{3}x$ = $2$. We solve for $x$ and get $x=\frac{6}{5}$. Therefore, the answer is $\boxed{\textbf{(C) } \frac{6}{5}}$.


Video Solution

For those who want a video solution: https://youtu.be/45kdBy3htOg

Video Solution 2



See Also

2019 AMC 10B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 17
Followed by
Problem 19
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All AMC 10 Problems and Solutions

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