2019 AMC 12A Problems/Problem 15

Problem

Positive real numbers $a$ and $b$ have the property that \[\sqrt{\log{a}} + \sqrt{\log{b}} + \log \sqrt{a} + \log \sqrt{b} = 100\] and all four terms on the left are positive integers, where log denotes the base 10 logarithm. What is $ab$?

$\textbf{(A) }   10^{52}   \qquad        \textbf{(B) }   10^{100}   \qquad    \textbf{(C) }   10^{144}   \qquad   \textbf{(D) }  10^{164} \qquad  \textbf{(E) }   10^{200}$

Solution 1

Since all four terms on the left are positive integers, from $\sqrt{\log{a}}$, we know that both $\log{a}$ has to be a perfect square and $a$ has to be a power of ten. The same applies to $b$ for the same reason. Setting $a$ and $b$ to $10^x$ and $10^y$, where $x$ and $y$ are the perfect squares, $ab = 10^{x+y}$. By listing all the perfect squares up to $14^2$ (as $15^2$ is larger than the largest possible sum of $x$ and $y$ of $200$ from answer choice $\text{E}$), two of those perfect squares must add up to one of the possible sums of $x$ and $y$ given from the answer choices ($52$, $100$, $144$, $164$, or $200$).

Only a few possible sums are seen: $16+36=52$, $36+64=100$, $64+100=164$, $100+100=200$, and $4+196=200$. By testing each of these (seeing whether $\sqrt{x} + \sqrt{y} + \frac{x}{2} + \frac{y}{2} = 100$), only the pair $x = 64$ and $y=100$ work. Therefore, $a$ and $b$ are $10^{64}$ and $10^{100}$, and our answer is $\boxed{\textbf{(D) } 10^{164}}$.

Solution 2

Given that $\sqrt{\log{a}}$ and $\sqrt{\log{b}}$ are both integers, $a$ and $b$ must be in the form $10^{m^2}$ and $10^{n^2}$, respectively for some positive integers $m$ and $n$. Note that $\log \sqrt{a} = \frac{m^2}{2}$. By substituting for a and b, the equation becomes $m + n + \frac{m^2}{2} + \frac{n^2}{2} = 100$. After multiplying the equation by 2 and completing the square with respect to $m$ and $n$, the equation becomes $(m + 1)^2 + (n + 1)^2 = 202$. Testing squares of positive integers that add to $202$, $11^2 + 9^2$ is the only option. Without loss of generality, let $m = 10$ and $n = 8$. Plugging in $m$ and $n$ to solve for $a$ and $b$ gives us $a = 10^{100}$ and $b = 10^{64}$. Therefore, $ab = \boxed{\textbf{(D) } 10^{164}}$.

See Also

2019 AMC 12A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 14
Followed by
Problem 16
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All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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