2007 AIME I Problems/Problem 2

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Problem

The complex number $z$ is equal to $9+bi$, where $b$ is a positive real number and $i^{2}=-1$. Given that the imaginary parts of $z^{2}$ and $z^{3}$ are the same, what is $b$ equal to?

Solution

Squaring, we find that $(9 + bi)^2 = 81 + 18bi - b^2$. Cubing and ignoring the real parts of the result, we find that $(81 + 18bi - b^2)(9 + bi) = \ldots + (9\cdot 18 + 81)bi - b^3i$.

Setting these two equal, we get that $18bi = 243bi - b^3i$, so $b(b^2 - 225) = 0$ and $b = -15, 0, 15$. Since $b > 0$, the solution is $015$.

See also

2007 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 1
Followed by
Problem 3
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All AIME Problems and Solutions
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