# 2021 Fall AMC 12B Problems/Problem 14

## Problem

Suppose that $P(z), Q(z)$, and $R(z)$ are polynomials with real coefficients, having degrees $2$, $3$, and $6$, respectively, and constant terms $1$, $2$, and $3$, respectively. Let $N$ be the number of distinct complex numbers $z$ that satisfy the equation $P(z) \cdot Q(z)=R(z)$. What is the minimum possible value of $N$?

$\textbf{(A)}\: 0\qquad\textbf{(B)} \: 1\qquad\textbf{(C)} \: 2\qquad\textbf{(D)} \: 3\qquad\textbf{(E)} \: 5$

## Solution

The answer cannot be $0,$ as every nonconstant polynomial has at least $1$ distinct complex root (Fundamental Theorem of Algebra). Since $P(z) \cdot Q(z)$ has degree $2 + 3 = 5,$ we conclude that $R(z) - P(z)\cdot Q(z)$ has degree $6$ and is thus nonconstant.

It now suffices to illustrate an example for which $N = 1$: Take \begin{align*} P(z)&=z^2+1, \\ Q(z)&=z^3+2, \\ R(z)&=(z+1)^6 + P(z) \cdot Q(z). \end{align*} Note that $R(z)$ has degree $6$ and constant term $3,$ so it satisfies the conditions.

We need to find the solutions to \begin{align*} P(z) \cdot Q(z) &= (z+1)^6 + P(z) \cdot Q(z) \\ 0 &= (z+1)^6. \end{align*} Clearly, the only distinct complex root is $-1,$ so our answer is $N=\boxed{\textbf{(B)} \: 1}.$

~kingofpineapplz ~kgator

## Video Solution

~MathProblemSolvingSkills.com