# 2015 AIME II Problems/Problem 13

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

## Problem

Define the sequence $a_1, a_2, a_3, \ldots$ by $a_n = \sum\limits_{k=1}^n \sin{k}$, where $k$ represents radian measure. Find the index of the 100th term for which $a_n < 0$.

## Solution 1

If $n = 1$, $a_n = \sin(1) > 0$. Then if $n$ satisfies $a_n < 0$, $n \ge 2$, and $$a_n = \sum_{k=1}^n \sin(k) = \cfrac{1}{\sin{1}} \sum_{k=1}^n\sin(1)\sin(k) = \cfrac{1}{2\sin{1}} \sum_{k=1}^n\cos(k - 1) - \cos(k + 1) = \cfrac{1}{2\sin(1)} [\cos(0) + \cos(1) - \cos(n) - \cos(n + 1)].$$ Since $2\sin 1$ is positive, it does not affect the sign of $a_n$. Let $b_n = \cos(0) + \cos(1) - \cos(n) - \cos(n + 1)$. Now since $\cos(0) + \cos(1) = 2\cos\left(\cfrac{1}{2}\right)\cos\left(\cfrac{1}{2}\right)$ and $\cos(n) + \cos(n + 1) = 2\cos\left(n + \cfrac{1}{2}\right)\cos\left(\cfrac{1}{2}\right)$, $b_n$ is negative if and only if $\cos\left(\cfrac{1}{2}\right) < \cos\left(n + \cfrac{1}{2}\right)$, or when $n \in [2k\pi - 1, 2k\pi]$. Since $\pi$ is irrational, there is always only one integer in the range, so there are values of $n$ such that $a_n < 0$ at $2\pi, 4\pi, \cdots$. Then the hundredth such value will be when $k = 100$ and $n = \lfloor 200\pi \rfloor = \lfloor 628.318 \rfloor = \boxed{628}$.

## Solution 2

Notice that $a_n$ is the imaginary part of $\sum_{k=1}^n e^{ik}$, by Euler's formula. Using the geometric series formula, we find that this sum is equal to $$\frac{e^{i(n+1)}-e^i}{e^i-1} = \frac{\cos (n+1) - \cos 1 + i (\sin (n+1) - \sin 1) }{\cos 1 - 1 + i \sin 1}$$ We multiply the fraction by the conjugate of the denominator so that we can separate out the real and imaginary parts of the above expression. Multiplying, we have $$\frac{(\cos 1 - 1)(\cos(n+1)-\cos 1) + (\sin 1)(\sin(n+1)-\sin 1) + i((\sin(n+1) - \sin 1)(\cos 1 - 1) - (\sin 1)(\cos(n+1)-\cos 1))}{\cos^2 1 - 2 \cos 1 + 1 + \sin^2 1}$$ We only need to look at the imaginary part, which is $$\frac{(\sin(n+1) \cos 1 - \cos(n+1) \sin 1) - \sin 1 \cos 1 + \sin 1 - \sin (n+1) + \sin 1 \cos 1}{2-2 \cos 1} = \frac{\sin n - \sin(n+1) + \sin 1}{2-2 \cos 1}$$ Since $\cos 1 < 1$, $2-2 \cos 1 > 0$, so the denominator is positive. Thus, in order for the whole fraction to be negative, we must have $\sin (n+1) - \sin n > \sin 1 \implies 2 \cos \left(n + \frac{1}{2} \right) \sin \frac{1}{2} > \sin 1 \implies \cos \left( n + \frac{1}{2} \right) > \frac{\sin 1}{2 \sin{\frac{1}{2}}} = \cos \left(\frac{1}{2} \right),$ by sum to product. This only holds when $n$ is between $2\pi k - 1$ and $2\pi k$ for integer $k$ [continuity proof here], and since this has exactly one integer solution for every such interval, the $100$th such $n$ is $\lfloor 200\pi \rfloor = \boxed{628}$.

## Solution 3

Similar to solution 2, we set a complex number $z=\cos 1+i\sin 1$. We start from $z$ instead of $1$ because $k$ starts from $1$: be careful.

The sum of $z+z^2+z^3+z^4+z^5\dots=\frac{z-z^{n+1}}{1-z}=\frac{z}{z-1}\left(z^n-1\right)$.

We are trying to make $n$ so that the imaginary part of this expression is negative.

The argument of $z$ is $1$. The argument of $z-1$, however, is a little more tricky. $z-1$ is on a circle centered on $(-1,0)$ with radius $1$. The change in angle due to $z$ is $1$ with respect to the center, but the angle that $z-1$ makes with the $y$-axis is $half$ the change, due to Circle Theorems (this intercepted arc is the argument of $z$), because the $y$- axis is tangent to the circle at the origin. So $\text{arg}(z-1)=\frac{\pi+1}{2}$. Dividing $z$ by $z-1$ subtracts the latter argument from the former, so the angle of the quotient with the $x$-axis is $\frac{1-\pi}{2}$.

We want the argument of the whole expression $-\pi<\theta<0$. This translates into $\frac{-\pi-1}{2}<\text{arg}\left(z^n-1\right)<\frac{\pi-1}{2}$. $z^n-1$ also consists of points on the circle centered at $(-1,0)$, so we deal with this argument similarly: the argument of $z^n$ is twice the angle $z^n-1$ makes with the $y$-axis. Since $z^n-1$ is always negative, $\frac{-3\pi}{2}<\text{arg}\left(z^n-1\right)<\frac{-\pi}{2}$, and the left bound is the only one that is important. Either way, the line (the line consists of both bounds) makes a $\frac{\pi}{2}-\frac{\pi-1}{2}=\frac{-1}{2}$ angle with the $y$-axis both ways.

So the argument of $z^n$ must be in the bound $-1<\theta<0$ by doubling, namely the last $z^n$ negative before another rotation. Since there is always one $z^n$ in this category per rotation because $\pi$ is irrational, $n_{100}\equiv z^{628}$ and the answer is $\boxed{628}$.

The problems on this page are copyrighted by the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competitions. 