1996 AIME Problems/Problem 10

Problem

Find the smallest positive integer solution to $\tan{19x^{\circ}}=\dfrac{\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}}}{\cos{96^{\circ}}-\sin{96^{\circ}}}$.

Solution

$\dfrac{\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}}}{\cos{96^{\circ}}-\sin{96^{\circ}}} =$ $\dfrac{\sin{186^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}}}{\sin{186^{\circ}}-\sin{96^{\circ}}} =$ $\dfrac{\sin{(141^{\circ}+45^{\circ})}+\sin{(141^{\circ}-45^{\circ})}}{\sin{(141^{\circ}+45^{\circ})}-\sin{(141^{\circ}-45^{\circ})}} =$ $\dfrac{2\sin{141^{\circ}}\cos{45^{\circ}}}{2\cos{141^{\circ}}\sin{45^{\circ}}} = \tan{141^{\circ}}$.

The period of the tangent function is $180^\circ$, and the tangent function is one-to-one over each period of its domain.

Thus, $19x \equiv 141 \pmod{180}$.

Since $19^2 \equiv 361 \equiv 1 \pmod{180}$, multiplying both sides by $19$ yields $x \equiv 141 \cdot 19 \equiv (140+1)(18+1) \equiv 0+140+18+1 \equiv 159 \pmod{180}$.

Therefore, the smallest positive solution is $x = \boxed{159}$.

Solution 2

$\dfrac{\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}}}{\cos{96^{\circ}}-\sin{96^{\circ}}} = \dfrac{1 + \tan{96^{\circ}}}{1-\tan{96^{\circ}}}$ which is the same as $\dfrac{\tan{45^{\circ}} + \tan{96^{\circ}}}{1-\tan{45^{\circ}}\tan{96^{\circ}}} = \tan{141{^\circ}}$.

So $19x = 141 +180n$, for some integer $n$. Multiplying by $19$ gives $x \equiv 141 \cdot 19 \equiv 2679 \equiv 159 \pmod{180}$. The smallest positive solution of this is $x = \boxed{159}$

Solution 3 (Only sine and cosine sum formulas)

It seems reasonable to assume that $\dfrac{\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}}}{\cos{96^{\circ}}-\sin{96^{\circ}}} = \tan{\theta}$ for some angle $\theta$. This means $$\dfrac{\alpha (\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}})}{\alpha (\cos{96^{\circ}}-\sin{96^{\circ}})} = \frac{\sin{\theta}}{\cos{\theta}}$$ for some constant $\alpha$. We can set $\alpha (\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ}) = \alpha \sin{\theta}$ (Error compiling LaTeX. ! Missing } inserted.).Note that if we have $\alpha$ equal to both the sine and cosine of an angle, we can use the sine sum formula (and the cosine sum formula on the denominator). So, since $\sin{45^{\circ}} = \cos{45^{\circ}} = \tfrac{\sqrt{2}}{2}$, if $\alpha = \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}$ we have

$\alpha (\cos{96^{\circ}}+\sin{96^{\circ} = \cos{96^{\circ}} \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2} + \sin{96^{\circ}} \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2} = \cos{96^{\circ}} \sin{45^{\circ}} + \sin{96^{\circ}} \cos{45^{\circ}} = \sin{45^{\circ} + 96^{\circ}} = \sin{141^{\circ}}$ (Error compiling LaTeX. ! Missing } inserted.)

from the sine sum formula. For the denominator, from the cosine sum formula, we have

$\alpha (\cos{96^{\circ}} - \sin{96^{\circ}) = \cos{96^{\circ}} \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2} + \sin{96^{\circ}} \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2} = \cos{96^{\circ}} \cos{45^{\circ}} + \sin{96^{\circ}} \sin{45^{\circ}} = \cos{96^{\circ} + 45^{\circ}} = \cos{141^{\circ}}.$ (Error compiling LaTeX. ! Missing } inserted.)

This means $\theta = 141^{\circ},$ so $19x = 141 + 180k$ for some positive integer $k$ (since the period of tangent is $180^{\circ}$), or $19 x \equiv 141 \pmod{180}$. Note that the inverse of $19$ modulo $180$ is itself as $19^2 \equiv 361 \equiv 1 \pmod {180}$, so multiplying this congruence by $19$ on both sides gives $x \equiv 2679 \equiv 159 \pmod{180}.$ For the smallest possible $x$, we take $x = \boxed{159}.$