# 2019 AMC 12A Problems/Problem 23

## Problem

Define binary operations $\diamondsuit$ and $\heartsuit$ by $$a \, \diamondsuit \, b = a^{\log_{7}(b)} \qquad \text{and} \qquad a \, \heartsuit \, b = a^{\frac{1}{\log_{7}(b)}}$$for all real numbers $a$ and $b$ for which these expressions are defined. The sequence $(a_n)$ is defined recursively by $a_3 = 3\, \heartsuit\, 2$ and $$a_n = (n\, \heartsuit\, (n-1)) \,\diamondsuit\, a_{n-1}$$for all integers $n \geq 4$. To the nearest integer, what is $\log_{7}(a_{2019})$?

$\textbf{(A) } 8 \qquad \textbf{(B) } 9 \qquad \textbf{(C) } 10 \qquad \textbf{(D) } 11 \qquad \textbf{(E) } 12$

## Solution

Using the recursive definition, $a_4 = (4 \, \heartsuit \, 3) \, \diamondsuit\, (3 \, \heartsuit\, 2)$ or $a_4 = (4^{m})^{n}$ where $m = \frac{1}{\log_{7}(3)}$ and $n = \log_{7}(3^{\frac{1}{\log_{7}(2)}})$. Using logarithm rules, we can remove the exponent of the 3 so that $n = \frac{\log_{7}(3)}{\log_{7}(2)}$. Therefore, $a_4 = 4^{\frac{1}{\log_{7}(2)}}$, which is $4 \, \heartsuit \, 2$.

We claim that $a_n = n \, \heartsuit \, 2$ for all $n \geq 3$. We can prove this through induction.