2021 AMC 12B Problems/Problem 21

Revision as of 16:10, 13 February 2021 by Ccx09 (talk | contribs) (Solution (Rough Approximation))


Let $S$ be the sum of all positive real numbers $x$ for which\[x^{2^{\sqrt2}}=\sqrt2^{2^x}.\]Which of the following statements is true?

$\textbf{(A) }S<\sqrt2 \qquad \textbf{(B) }S=\sqrt2 \qquad \textbf{(C) }\sqrt2<S<2\qquad \textbf{(D) }2\le S<6 \qquad \textbf{(E) }S\ge 6$

Video Solution by hippopotamus1:


Solution (Rough Approximation)

Note that this solution is not recommended unless you're running out of time.

Upon pure observation, it is obvious that one solution to this equality is $x=\sqrt{2}$. From this, we can deduce that this equality has two solutions, since $\sqrt{2}^{2^{x}}$ grows faster than $x^{2^{\sqrt{2}}}$ (for greater values of $x$) and $\sqrt{2}^{2^{x}}$ is greater than $x^{2^{\sqrt{2}}}$ for $x<\sqrt{2}$ and less than $x^{2^{\sqrt{2}}}$ for $\sqrt{2}<x<n$, where $n$ is the second solution. Thus, the answer cannot be $\text{A}$ or $\text{B}$. We then start plugging in numbers to roughly approximate the answer. When $x=2$, $x^{2^{\sqrt{2}}}>\sqrt{2}^{2^{x}}$, thus the answer cannot be $\text{C}$. Then, when $x=4$, $x^{2^{\sqrt{2}}}=4^{2^{\sqrt{2}}}<64<\sqrt{2}^{2^{x}}=256$. Therefore, $S<4+\sqrt{2}<6$, so the answer is $\boxed{\textbf{(D) } 2 \le S < 6}$. ~Baolan

Solution 2

$x^{2^{\sqrt{2}}} = {\sqrt{2}}^{2^x}$ $2^{\sqrt{2}} \log x = 2^{x} \log \sqrt{2}$ (At this point we see by inspection that $x=\sqrt{2}$ is a solution.) $\sqrt{2} \log 2 + \log \log x = x \log 2 + \log \log \sqrt{2}$ $\sqrt{2} + \log_2 \log_2 x = x + \log_2 \log_2 \sqrt{2} = x -1.$ $\log_2 \log_2 x = x - 1 - \sqrt{2}.$

LHS is a line. RHS is a concave curve that looks like a logarithm and has $x$ intercept at $(2,0).$ There are at most two solutions, one of which is $\sqrt{2}.$ But note that at $x=2,$ we have $\log_2 \log_2 (2) = 0 > 2 - 1 - \sqrt{2},$ meaning that the log log curve is above the line, so it must intersect the line again at a point $x > 2.$ Now we check $x=4$ and see that $\log_2 \log_2 (4) = 1 < 4 - 1 - \sqrt{2},$ which means at $x=4$ the line is already above the log log curve. Thus, the second solution lies in the interval $(2,4).$ The answer is $\boxed{2 \leq S < 6}.$

~ ccx09

Video Solution by OmegaLearn (Logarithmic Tricks)


~ pi_is_3.14

See Also

2021 AMC 12B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 20
Followed by
Problem 22
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 AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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