2019 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 20

Revision as of 22:33, 24 November 2019 by Go1331 (talk | contribs) (Solution)

Problem 20

How many different real numbers $x$ satisfy the equation \[(x^{2}-5)^{2}=16?\]

$\textbf{(A) }0\qquad\textbf{(B) }1\qquad\textbf{(C) }2\qquad\textbf{(D) }4\qquad\textbf{(E) }8$

Solution

We have that $(x^2-5)^2 = 16$ if and only if $x^2-5 = \pm 4$. If $x^2-5 = 4$, then $x^2 = 9 \implies x = \pm 3$, giving 2 solutions. If $x^2-5 = -4$, then $x^2 = 1 \implies x = \pm 1$, giving 2 more solutions. All four of these solutions work, so the answer is $\boxed{\textbf{(D)} 4}$. Further, the equation is a quartic in $x$, so by the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, there can be at most four real solutions.

See Also

2019 AMC 8 (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 19
Followed by
Problem 21
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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

Invalid username
Login to AoPS