 Try this beautiful problem from the PRMO, 2017 based on Roots and coefficients of equations.

## Roots and coefficients of equations – PRMO 2017

Let a,b be integers such that all the roots of the equation $(x^{2}+ax+20)(x^{2}+17x+b)$=0 are negetive integers, find the smallest possible values of a+b.

• is 107
• is 25
• is 840
• cannot be determined from the given information

### Key Concepts

Polynomials

Roots

Coefficients

But try the problem first…

Source

PRMO, 2017, Question 4

Polynomials by Barbeau

## Try with Hints

First hint

$(x^{2}+ax+20)(x^{2}+17x+b)$

where sum of roots $\lt$ 0 and product $\gt 0$ for each quadratic equation $x^{2}$+ax+20=0 and

$(x^{2}+17x+b)=0$

$a \gt 0$, $b \gt 0$

now using vieta’s formula on each quadratic equation $x^{2}$+ax+20=0 and $(x^{2}+17x+b)=0$, to get possible roots of $x^{2}$+ax+20=0 from product of roots equation $20=(1 \times 20), (2 \times 10), (4 \times 5)$

min a=4+5=9 from all sum of roots possible

Second Hint

again using vieta’s formula, to get possible roots of $(x^{2}$+17x+b)=0 from sum of roots equation $17=-(\alpha + \beta) \Rightarrow (\alpha,\beta)=(-1,-16),(-2,-15),$

$(-8,-9)$

$(a+b)_{min}=a_{min}+b_{min}$=9+16=25.