2012 AMC 12B Problems/Problem 23

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Problem 23

Consider all polynomials of a complex variable, $P(z)=4z^4+az^3+bz^2+cz+d$, where $a,b,c,$ and $d$ are integers, $0\le d\le c\le b\le a\le 4$, and the polynomial has a zero $z_0$ with $|z_0|=1.$ What is the sum of all values $P(1)$ over all the polynomials with these properties?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 84\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 92\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 100\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 108\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 120$

Solution (doubtful)

Since $z_0$ is a root of $P$, and $P$ has integer coefficients, $z_0$ must be algebraic. Since $z_0$ is algebraic and lies on the unit circle, $z_0$ must be a root of unity (Comment: this is not true. See this link: [1]). Since $P$ has degree 4, it seems reasonable (and we will assume this only temporarily) that $z_0$ must be a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th root of unity. These are among the set $\{\pm1,\pm i,(-1\pm i\sqrt{3})/2\}$. Since complex roots of polynomials come in conjugate pairs, we have that $P$ has one (or more) of the following factors: $z+1$, $z-1$, $z^2+1$, or $z^2+z+1$. If $z=1$ then $a+b+c+d+4=0$; a contradiction since $a,b,c,d$ are non-negative. On the other hand, suppose $z=-1$. Then $(a+c)-(b+d)=4$. This implies $a+b=8,7,6,5,4$ while $b+d=4,3,2,1,0$ correspondingly. After listing cases, the only such valid $a,b,c,d$ are $4,4,4,0$, $4,3,3,0$, $4,2,2,0$, $4,1,1,0$, and $4,0,0,0$.

Now suppose $z=i$. Then $4=(a-c)i+(b-d)$ whereupon $a=c$ and $b-d=4$. But then $a=b=c$ and $d=a-4$. This gives only the cases $a,b,c,d$ equals $4,4,4,0$, which we have already counted in a previous case.

Suppose $z=-i$. Then $4=i(c-a)+(b-d)$ so that $a=c$ and $b=4+d$. This only gives rise to $a,b,c,d$ equal $4,4,4,0$ which we have previously counted.

Finally suppose $z^2+z+1$ divides $P$. Using polynomial division ((or that $z^3=1$ to make the same deductions) we ultimately obtain that $b=4+c$. This can only happen if $a,b,c,d$ is $4,4,0,0$.

Hence we've the polynomials \[4x^4+4x^3+4x^2+4x\] \[4x^4+4x^3+3x^2+3x\] \[4x^4+4x^3+2x^2+2x\] \[4x^4+4x^3+x^2+x\] \[4x^4+4x^3\] \[4x^4+4x^3+4x^2\] However, by inspection $4x^4+4x^3+4x^2+4x+4$ has roots on the unit circle, because $x^4+x^3+x^2+x+1=(x^5-1)/(x-1)$ which brings the sum to 92 (choice B). Note that this polynomial has a 5th root of unity as a root. We will show that we were \textit{almost} correct in our initial assumption; that is that $z_0$ is at most a 5th root of unity, and that the last polynomial we obtained is the last polynomial with the given properties. Suppose that $z_0$ in an $n$th root of unity where $n>5$, and $z_0$ is not a 3rd or 4th root of unity. (Note that 1st and 2nd roots of unity are themselves 4th roots of unity). If $n$ is prime, then \textit{every} $n$th root of unity except 1 must satisfy our polynomial, but since $n>5$ and the degree of our polynomial is 4, this is impossible. Suppose $n$ is composite. If it has a prime factor $p$ greater than 5 then again every $p$th root of unity must satisfy our polynomial and we arrive at the same contradiction. Therefore suppose $n$ is divisible only by 2,3,or 5. Since by hypothesis $z_0$ is not a 2nd or 3rd root of unity, $z_0$ must be a 5th root of unity. Since 5 is prime, every 5th root of unity except 1 must satisfy our polynomial. That is, the other 4 complex 5th roots of unity must satisfy $P(z_0)=0$. But $(x^5-1)/(x-1)$ has exactly all 5th roots of unity excluding 1, and $(x^5-1)/(x-1)=x^4+x^3+x^2+x+1$. Thus this must divide $P$ which implies $P(x)=4(x^4+x^3+x^2+x+1)$. This completes the proof.


First, assume that $z_0\in \mathbb{R}$, so $z_0=1$ or $-1$. $1$ does not work because $P(1)\geq 4$. Assume that $z_0=-1$. Then $0=P(-1)=4-a+b-c+d$, we have $4+b+d=a+c\leq 4+b$, so $d=0$. Also, $a=4$ has to be true since $4+b=a+c \leq a+b$. Now $4+b=4+c$ deduces $b=c$, therefore the only possible choices for $(a,b,c,d)$ are $(4,t,t,0)$. In these cases, $P(-1)=4-4+t-t+0=0$. The sum of $P(1)$ over these cases is $\sum_{t=0}^{4} (4+4+t+t) = 40+20=60$.

Second, assume that $z_0\in \mathbb{C} \backslash \mathbb{R}$, so $z_0=x_0+iy_0$ for some real $x_0, y_0$, $|x_0|<1$. By conjugate roots theorem we have that $P(z_0)=P(z_0^{*})=0$, therefore $(z-z_0)(z-z_0^{*}) = (z^2 - 2x_0 + 1)$ is a factor of $P(z)$, and we may assume that

\[P(z) = (z^2-2x_0 z + 1)(4z^2 + pz + d)\]

for some real $p$. Expanding this polynomial and comparing the coefficients, we have the following equations:

\[p-8x_0 = a\] \[d+4-2px_0 = b\] \[p-2dx_0 = c\]

From the first and the third we may deduce that $2x_0 = \frac{a-c}{d-4}$ and that $p=\frac{da-4c}{d-4}$, if $d\neq 4$ (we will consider $d=4$ by the end). Let $k=2px_0=\frac{(a-c)(da-4c)}{(4-d)^2}$. From the second equation, we know that $k=d+4-b$ is a non-negative integer. Consider the following cases:

Case 1: $a=c$. Then $k=0$, $b=d+4$, so $a=b=c=4$, $d=0$. $x_0=0$. In this case, $P(z)$ has a root $z_0=i$. However, this case is already covered before ($t=4$). Case 2: $a>c\geq 0$. Then since $k\geq 0$, we have $da-4c\geq 0$. However, $da \leq 4c$, therefore $da-4c=0$. This is true only when $d=c$. Also, we get $k=0$ again. In this case, $b=d+4$, so $a=b=4$, $c=d=0$, $x_0=-1/2$. $P(z)$ has a root $z_0=e^{i2\pi/3}$. $P(1)=12$. Last case: $d=4$. We have $a=b=c=d=4$ and that $P(z)$ has a root $z_0=e^{i2\pi/5}$. $P(1)=20$.

Therefore the desired sum is $60+12+20=92 ...\framebox{B}$.

The case of $d=4$. We get $a=b=c=d=4$. In this case, $z_0=e^{i2\pi/5}$ satisfies the conditions.

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