2005 AMC 12A Problems/Problem 24
Contents
Problem
Let . For how many polynomials does there exist a polynomial of degree 3 such that ?
Solution
We can write the problem as
.
Since and , . Thus, , so .
Hence, we conclude , , and must each be , , or . Since a quadratic is uniquely determined by three points, there can be different quadratics after each of the values of , , and are chosen.
However, we have included which are not quadratics: lines. Namely,
Clearly, we could not have included any other constant functions. For any linear function, we have because is y-value of the midpoint of and . So we have not included any other linear functions. Therefore, the desired answer is .
Quicker Solution
We see that Therefore, . Since we must have divide . So, we pair them off with one of and to see that there are without restrictions. (Note that this count was made by pairing off linear factors of with and , and also note that the degree of is 2.) However, we have two functions which are constant, which are and So, we subtract to get a final answer of .
~Williamgolly
See also
2005 AMC 12A (Problems • Answer Key • Resources) | |
Preceded by Problem 23 |
Followed by Problem 25 |
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All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions |
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