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August 9, 2019

Functional equation dependent on a constant

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Understand the problem

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" text_font="Raleway||||||||" background_color="#f4f4f4" custom_margin="10px||10px" custom_padding="10px|20px|10px|20px" box_shadow_style="preset2"]Find all real numbers $a$ for which there exists a non-constant function $f :\Bbb R \to \Bbb R$ satisfying the following two equations for all $x\in \Bbb R:$
i) $f(ax) = a^2f(x)$ and
ii) $f(f(x)) = a f(x).$[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.25"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_accordion open_toggle_text_color="#0c71c3" _builder_version="3.26.6" toggle_font="||||||||" body_font="Raleway||||||||" text_orientation="center" custom_margin="10px||10px" hover_enabled="0"][et_pb_accordion_item title="Source of the problem" open="off" _builder_version="3.26.6"]Baltic Way 2016[/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title="Topic" _builder_version="4.3.2" hover_enabled="0" open="on"]

Functional Equation

[/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title="Difficulty Level" _builder_version="3.26.6" open="off"]Easy[/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title="Suggested Book" _builder_version="3.26.6" open="off"]Functional Equations by BJ Venkatachala[/et_pb_accordion_item][/et_pb_accordion][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" text_font="Raleway|300|||||||" text_text_color="#ffffff" header_font="Raleway|300|||||||" header_text_color="#e2e2e2" background_color="#0c71c3" custom_margin="48px||48px" custom_padding="20px|20px|20px|20px" border_radii="on|5px|5px|5px|5px" box_shadow_style="preset3" inline_fonts="Aclonica"]

Start with hints

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_tabs active_tab_background_color="#0c71c3" inactive_tab_background_color="#000000" _builder_version="3.26.6" tab_text_color="#ffffff" tab_font="||||||||" background_color="#ffffff"][et_pb_tab title="Hint 0" _builder_version="3.22.4"]Do you really need a hint? Try it first!

[/et_pb_tab][et_pb_tab title="Hint 1" _builder_version="3.26.6"]Show that the choices a=0,1 work.

[/et_pb_tab][et_pb_tab title="Hint 2" _builder_version="3.26.6"]Show that af(f(x))=a^2f(f(x)). As we have already dealt with a=0, this gives af(f(x))=f(f(x)). [/et_pb_tab][et_pb_tab title="Hint 3" _builder_version="3.26.6"]Hint 3 gives (a-1)f(f(x))=0. As a=1 has already been dealt with, we must consider the option f(f(x))\equiv 0.[/et_pb_tab][et_pb_tab title="Hint 4" _builder_version="3.26.6"]Hint 3 gives af(x)\equiv 0. As a\neq 0, we have f(x)\equiv 0. This contradicts the fact that f is non-constant. Hence, a=0,1 are the only options.[/et_pb_tab][/et_pb_tabs][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" text_font="Raleway|300|||||||" text_text_color="#ffffff" header_font="Raleway|300|||||||" header_text_color="#e2e2e2" background_color="#0c71c3" custom_margin="48px||48px" custom_padding="20px|20px|20px|20px" border_radii="on|5px|5px|5px|5px" box_shadow_style="preset3" inline_fonts="Aclonica"]

Watch video

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Connected Program at Cheenta

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Math Olympiad is the greatest and most challenging academic contest for school students. Brilliant school students from over 100 countries participate in it every year. Cheenta works with small groups of gifted students through an intense training program. It is a deeply personalized journey toward intellectual prowess and technical sophistication.[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_button button_url="https://www.cheenta.com/matholympiad/" url_new_window="on" button_text="Learn More" button_alignment="center" _builder_version="3.23.3" custom_button="on" button_bg_color="#0c71c3" button_border_color="#0c71c3" button_border_radius="0px" button_font="Raleway||||||||" button_icon="%%3%%" background_layout="dark" button_text_shadow_style="preset1" box_shadow_style="preset1" box_shadow_color="#0c71c3"][/et_pb_button][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" text_font="Raleway|300|||||||" text_text_color="#ffffff" header_font="Raleway|300|||||||" header_text_color="#e2e2e2" background_color="#0c71c3" custom_margin="50px||50px" custom_padding="20px|20px|20px|20px" border_radii="on|5px|5px|5px|5px" box_shadow_style="preset3" inline_fonts="Aclonica"]

Similar Problems

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https://www.cheenta.com/co-ordinate-geometry-amc-10b-2019-problem-no-4/.

https://www.cheenta.com/average-amc-10b-2019-problem-no-4/

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