1967 IMO Problems/Problem 3

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Let $k, m, n$ be natural numbers such that $m+k+1$ is a prime greater than $n+1.$ Let $c_s=s(s+1).$ Prove that the product \[(c_{m+1}-c_k)(c_{m+2}-c_k)\cdots (c_{m+n}-c_k)\] is divisible by the product $c_1c_2\cdots c_n$.


For any $m, n$, $c_m - c_n = m(m+1) - n(n+1) = m^2 + m - n^2 - n = (m+n)(m-n) + m - n = (m+n+1)(m-n)$.

We can therefore write the product in the problem as follows:

\[(c_{m+1}-c_k)(c_{m+2}-c_k)\cdots (c_{m+n}-c_k)\] \[= \left(\prod_{a = 1}^n m+a+k+1\right)\left(\prod{a = 1}^n m+a-k\right).\]

But, the product of any $n$ consecutive integers is divisible by $n!$. We can prove this as follows:

\[(t-n+1)(t-n+2) \cdots (t) = \frac{(t+n)!}{t!} = n! \frac{(t+n)!}{t!n!} = n! {t+n\choose t}.\]

Therefore, $\prod_{a = 1}^n m+a-k$ is divisible by $n!$, and $(m+k+1)\left(\prod_{a = 1}^n m+a+k+1\right)$ is divisible by $(n+1)!$. However, we are told that $m+k+1$ is prime and therefore it is not divisible by any of the numbers $1$ through $n+1$. Therefore, $\prod_{a = 1}^n m+a+k+1$ is divisible by $(n+1)!$.

Finally, it is clear that $(c_{m+1}-c_k)(c_{m+2}-c_k)\cdots (c_{m+n}-c_k)$ is divisible by $n!(n+1)! = (1 \cdot 2)(2 \cdot 3)(3 \cdot 4) \cdots (n \cdot (n+1)) =$$c_1c_2\cdots c_n$. $\square$


Solution 2

We have that $c_1c_2c_3...c_n=n!(n+1)!$

and we have that $c_a-c_b=a^2-b^2+a-b=(a-b)(a+b+1)$

So we have that $(c_{m+1}-c_k)(c_{m+2}-c_k)\ldots(c_{m+n}-c_k)=\frac{(m+n-k)!}{(m-n)!}\frac{(m+n+k+1)!}{(m+k+1)!}$ We have to show that:

$\frac{(c_{m+1}-c_k)(c_{m+2}-c_k)\ldots(c_{m+n}-c_k)}{n!(n+1)!}=\frac{(m+n-k)!}{(m-n)!n!}\frac{(m+n+k+1)!}{(m+k)!(n+1)!} \frac 1{m+k+1}$ is an integer

But $\frac{(m+n-k)!}{(m-n)!n!}=\binom {m+n-k}n$ is an integer and ${(m+n+k+1)!}{(m+k)!(n+1)!} \frac 1{m+k+1}=\binom {m+n+k+1}{n+1}\frac 1{m+k+1}$ is an integer because $m+k+1|m+n+k+1!$ but does not divide neither $n+1!$ nor $m+n!$ because $m+k+1$ is prime and it is greater than $n+1$ (given in the hypotesis) and $m+n$.

The above solution was posted and copyrighted by Simo_the_Wolf. The original thread can be found here: [1]

See Also

1967 IMO (Problems) • Resources
Preceded by
Problem 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 Followed by
Problem 4
All IMO Problems and Solutions