2011 AIME I Problems/Problem 13

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A cube with side length 10 is suspended above a plane. The vertex closest to the plane is labeled $A$. The three vertices adjacent to vertex $A$ are at heights 10, 11, and 12 above the plane. The distance from vertex $A$ to the plane can be expressed as $\frac{r-\sqrt{s}}{t}$, where $r$, $s$, and $t$ are positive integers, and $r+s+t<{1000}$. Find $r+s+t$.


Set the cube at the origin with the three vertices along the axes and the plane equal to $ax+by+cz+d=0$, where $a^2+b^2+c^2=1$. Then the (directed) distance from any point (x,y,z) to the plane is $ax+by+cz+d$. So, by looking at the three vertices, we have $10a+d=10, 10b+d=11, 10c+d=12$, and by rearranging and summing, $(10-d)^2+(11-d)^2+(12-d)^2= 100\cdot(a^2+b^2+c^2)=100$.

Solving the equation is easier if we substitute $11-d=y$, to get $3y^2+2=100$, or $y=\sqrt {98/3}$. The distance from the origin to the plane is simply d, which is equal to $11-\sqrt{98/3} =(33-\sqrt{294})/3$, so $33+294+3=330$

Solution 2

Set the cube at the origin and the adjacent vertices as (10, 0, 0), (0, 10, 0) and (0, 0, 10). Then consider the plane ax + by + cz = 0. Because A has distance 0 to it (and distance d to the original, parallel plane), the distance from the other vertices to the plane is 10-d, 11-d, and 12-d respectively. The distance formula gives \[\frac{a(10)}{\sqrt{a^2 + b^2 + c^2}} = 10-d,\] \[\frac{b(10)}{\sqrt{a^2 + b^2 + c^2}} = 11-d,\] and \[\frac{c(10)}{\sqrt{a^2 + b^2 + c^2}} = 12-d.\] An easy algebraic manipulation gives the equation in the first solution.

See also

2011 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 12
Followed by
Problem 14
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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