# Difference between revisions of "2003 AMC 12A Problems/Problem 19"

## Problem

A parabola with equation $y=ax^2+bx+c$ is reflected about the $x$-axis. The parabola and its reflection are translated horizontally five units in opposite directions to become the graphs of $y=f(x)$ and $y=g(x)$, respectively. Which of the following describes the graph of $y=(f+g)(x)?$ $\textbf{(A)}\ \text{a parabola tangent to the }x\text{-axis}$ $\textbf{(B)}\ \text{a parabola not tangent to the }x\text{-axis}\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ \text{a horizontal line}$ $\textbf{(D)}\ \text{a non-horizontal line}\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ \text{the graph of a cubic function}$

## Solution 1

If we take the parabola $ax^2 + bx + c$ and reflect it over the x - axis, we have the parabola $-ax^2 - bx - c$. Without loss of generality, let us say that the parabola is translated 5 units to the left, and the reflection to the right. Then: \begin{align*} f(x) = a(x+5)^2 + b(x+5) + c = ax^2 + (10a+b)x + 25a + 5b + c \\ g(x) = -a(x-5)^2 - b(x-5) - c = -ax^2 + 10ax -bx - 25a + 5b - c \end{align*}

Adding them up produces: \begin{align*} (f + g)(x) = ax^2 + (10a+b)x + 25a + 5b + c - ax^2 + 10ax -bx - 25a + 5b - c = 20ax + 10b \end{align*}

This is a line with slope $20a$. Since $a$ cannot be $0$ (because $ax^2 + bx + c$ would be a line) we end up with $\boxed{\textbf{(D)} \text{ a non-horizontal line }}$

## Solution 2: less computation

WLOG let the parabola be $y=x^2$, and the reflected parabola is thus $y=-x^2$. We can also assume $$f(x) = (x+5)^2 = x^2 + 10x + 25$$ and $$g(x) = -(x-5)^2 = -x^2 + 10x - 25.$$ Therefore, $$(f+g)(x) = x^2 + 10x + 25 - x^2 + 10x - 25 = 20x,$$ which is a non-horizontal line $\Rightarrow \boxed{\textbf{D}}$.

-MP8148

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