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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI

HANOI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE


GSMI SCHOOL

SOME METHOD USING TRIGONOMETRY


TO IMPROVE INEQUALITIES

Members: Duong Ngoc Anh


Nguyen Tuyet Ngan
Vo Viet Phuong
Nguyen Dai Trang
Hoang Quoc Trung

Hanoi 3 - 2010
VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
HANOI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE
GSMI SCHOOL

SOME METHOD USING TRIGONOMETRY


TO IMPROVE INEQUALITIES

Supervisor: Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh


Members: Duong Ngoc Anh
Nguyen Tuyet Ngan
Vo Viet Phuong
Nguyen Dai Trang
Hoang Quoc Trung

Hanoi 3 – 2010
SOME METHOD USING TRIGONOMETRY TO IMPROVE
INEQUALITIES

Duong Ngoc Anh, Nguyen Tuyet Ngan, Vo Viet Phuong, Nguyen Dai Trang,
Hoang Quoc Trung

Abstract: We collect some old inequalities which solved by trigonometric


substitution and refresh this way by new problems.

I. Introduction
Let’s start with a difficult problem in the past:
[India, 1998] Let x, y, z be positive real number satisfy xy  yz  zx  xyz  4 . Prove
that: x  y  z  xy  yz  zx
This problem can be solved by Schur’s Inequality after some complex
transformations. By the way, many algebraic solutions of inequalities need advanced
knowledge or hard to understand. However, if they have suitable given condition,
we can simplify them by better choices. In this article, we will show you how to
have smarter and more beautiful solutions by introducing the key to switch normal
inequalities into trigonometry – using trigonometric substitutions.
1. Elementary facts
Tool 1. Let A, B, C be angles in (0,  ) . Then A, B, C are the angles of a triangle if
and only if cos 2 A  cos 2 B  cos 2 C  2 cos A cos B cos C  1 .
A B C A B C
Note that we also have sin 2  sin 2  sin 2  2 sin sin sin  1 so we should
2 2 2 2 2 2
use each suitable substitution for each problem.
Tool 2. Let A, B, C be angles in (0,  ) . Then A, B, C are the angles of a triangle if
A B B C C A
and only if tan tan  tan tan  tan tan  1 .
2 2 2 2 2 2
We also have tan A  tan B  tan C  tan A tan B tan C .
2. Applications
May be these solutions aren’t new, but the next problems are solved by our group:
Problem 1[India, 1998]. with the same idea, set xy = cos A, yz = cos B, zx =

cos C where A, B, C  (0, ). We have to prove that
2
2 cos A cos B 2 cos B cos C 2 cos C cos A
   4(cos 2 A  cos 2 B  cos 2 C ) .
cos C cos A cos B
Otherwise:  a, b, c is positive real number, we can find that
a 2  b 2  c 2  2bc cos A  2ca cos B  2ab cos C where A, B, C is angle of a triangle.
2 cos A cos B 2 cos B cos C 2 cos C cos A
Now applying this lemma for a  ,b  ,c  .
cos C cos A cos B
2 cos A cos B 2 cos B cos C 2 cos C cos A
Hence    4(cos 2 A  cos 2 B  cos 2 C ) .
cos C cos A cos B
It suffices to prove our opening problem.

Problem 2. Let x, y, z be positive real numbers satisfying


xy + yz + zx + 2xyz = 1.
3
Prove that x y z  .
2

Solution. Let xy = cos A, yz = cos B, zx = cos C where A, B, C  (0, ).
2
cos A cos B cos B cos C cos C cos A
So x  y  z    .
cos C cos A cos B
cos A cos B cos B cos C cos C cos A 3
It becomes to prove that    .
cos C cos A cos B 2
cos A cos B cos B cos C cos C cos A
In problem 2    2(cos2 A  cos 2 B  cos 2 C )
cos C cos A cos B
3
Because cos2 A  cos 2 B  cos 2 C  , we are done.
4
1
Problem 3. Let x, y, z  satisfying x 2  y 2  z 2  2 xy  2 yz  2 zx  4 xyz  0
2
8
Prove that x y z ( xy  yz  zx) .
27
Solution. x 2  y 2  z 2  2 xy  2 yz  2 zx  4 xyz  0 .
Hence (2 x  1) 2  (2 y  1) 2  (2 z  1) 2  2(2 x  1)(2 y  1)(2 z  1)  1 .
A
With the notations 2 x  1  cos A , 2 y  1  cos B , 2 z  1  cos C we have x  cos ,
2
B C
y  cos, z  cos so we need to prove that
2 2
A B C 8 A B B C C A
Cos  Cos  Cos  (Cos 2 .Cos 2  Cos 2 .Cos 2  Cos 2 .Cos 2 ) .
2 2 2 27 2 2 2 2 2 2
This inequality is equivalent to
2
A 4 A 4  2 A
 cos 2  27
 cos
2
4
  cos
27 
 .
2
By using AM-GM inequality, we obtain
A
Cos 6
1 A 1 A 4 A 2  3.Cos 2 A
.Cos  .Cos  .Cos 4  3.
3

2 2 2 2 27 2 27 2
A 4 A  A
Hence  cos 2  27
 cos2
 3   cos 2  .
4

 2
2
A 9 4 A 2 A
Beside  cos 2

2 4
so 3 ( cos 2 )  3  cos
9 2 2
thus
4 A 2 A
( cos 2
)  3  cos 2 and it suffices to prove that
27 2 2
A B C 8 A B B C C A
Cos  Cos  Cos  (Cos 2 .Cos 2  Cos 2 .Cos 2  Cos 2 .Cos 2 ) as
2 2 2 27 2 2 2 2 2 2
desired.
From that Exam, we get this lemma:
With A, B, C is angle of an acute triangle
cyc
CosA.CosB 9 cyc cyc
2 A 2 cyc A 2 128 cyc A B
 CosC  3 
2
  CosA  3  2 . Cos 
2 3
(  Cos
2
) 
81
.(  Cos 2 .Cos 2 ) 2 .
2 2

Equality holds when A  B  C  .
3
Problem 4. Let x, y, z be positive real numbers such that xy + yz + zx = 1.
1 1 1
Prove that    3( x  y  z ) .
x y z
A B C 
Solution. Let x  tan , y  tan , z  tan (with A, B, C  (0, ) ; A  B  C   ).
2 2 2 2
Denote S is the difference of the left side and the right side, our example becomes
to prove that S  0 . Actually we have
1 1 1 A B C A B C
S     3( x  y  z )  cot  cot  cot  3(tan  tan  tan ) .
x y z 2 2 2 2 2 2
A A B B C C A B C
 (cot  tan )  (cot  tan )  (cot  tan )  2(tan  tan  tan )
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
A B C
 2(cot A  cot B  cot C )  2(tan  tan  tan )
2 2 2
C A C
 (cot A  cot B  2 tan )  (cot B  cot C  2 tan )  (cot B  cot A  2 tan ) .
2 2 2
Note that
sin( A  B) 2 sin C 2 sin C 2 sin C
cot A  cot B    
sin A. sin B sin A. sin B cos( A  B)  cos( A  B) 1  cos( A  B)
C C
4 sin cos
2 sin C 2 2  2 tan C .
 
1  cos C C 2
2 cos 2
2
c
Thus it’s easy to have S  (cot a  cot b  2 tan )  0 as desired.
2
Remark. This problem’s algebraic solution may be shorter than our way, but
using trigonometric substitution make us think fast when we want to simplify
problems which are more complex than this.
Problem 5. Let x, y, z be positive real numbers such that x + y + z = 1.
x y z 9
Prove that S    .
x  yz y  zx z  xy 4
yz xz xz xy xy yz
Solution. As we can see, .  .  .  x  y  z  1.
x y y z z x
yz a xz b xy c 
Therefore let  tan ,  tan ,  tan (with a, b, c  (0, ) ;
x 2 y 2 z 2 2
a  b  c   ) the left side of our inequality becomes
x y z 1 1 1 1 1 1
S        
x  yz y  zx z  xy yz zx xy A B C
1 1 1 1  tan 2 1  tan 2 1  tan 2
x y z 2 2 2
A B C A B C 9
 cos 2  cos 2  cos 2 . Hence cos 2  cos 2  cos 2  this is exactly
2 2 2 2 2 2 4
well-known trigonometric inequality.

II. Some new results


From those methods above, we receive new ideas of solving our problem. These
problems are made by our groups:
Problem 1. Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that:

a b c abc
   3.
(b  c) 3
(c  a ) 3
( a  b) 3
(a  b)(b  c)(c  a)
Before taking that problem, let’s get over this:
1 1 1
Problem 2. Let x, y, z be positive real number such that   2.
1 x 1 y 1 z
x y z
Prove that    3.
y  z  2 yz z  x  2 zx x  y  2 xy
B C C A A B
sin sin sin sin sin sin
Solution. With that condition, we set x  2 2 ,y 2 2 ,z  2 2 ,
A B C
sin sin sin
2 2 2

(where A, B, C  (0, ), A  B  C   ).
2
B C
sin sin
2 2
A
sin
x 2
Hence 
y  z  2 yz A C A B A C A B
sin sin sin sin sin sin sin sin
2 2  2 2 2 2 2. 2 2
B C B C
sin sin sin sin
2 2 2 2
2 2
 B C    B C  
 sin sin     sin sin   
1 1
 2 2   2 2  
 A   2 B 2 C A B C  A   2 A
 sin   sin  sin  2 sin sin sin   sin   1  sin 
 2   2 2 2 2 2  2   2
2
 B C  B C
 sin sin  2 sin sin
 2 2  . So that the left side is equivalent to P  2 2 2
 2 sin A  sin A
 
 
B C
sin sin
Our problem becomes to prove that  2 2  3.
sin A 2
B C pa A
Note that sin sin  sin .
2 2 a 2
B C
sin sin
A pa 2 2  IA
I is the centre of the interior circle then cos  . Therefore
2 IA A 2a
sin
2
MA MB MC
we’ve known that M :    3 so the conclusion follows.
a b c
a
Now back to Problem 1, apply Problem 2 with  x  so we are done.
bc
Problem 3. Let x, y, z be positive real numbers such that xy + yz + 1 = 3xz
Prove that xz  3 y .
Problem 4. Let x, y, z be positive real numbers satisfying
2abc  a  b  c  2(ab  bc  ca ) .
 2a  1  2b  1 2c  1 9
Prove that 2 2  2  2 
 2a  2a  1  2b  2b  1 2c  2c  1 4
Problem 5. Let a b, c be positive real numbers such that ab  bc  ca  1 .
Prove that
a(1  b 2 )(1  c 2 )  b(1  c 2 )(1  a 2 )  c(1  a 2 )(1  b 2 ) n 2
n . (a  b  c)  3 n
2(1  a )(1  b )(1  c )
2 2 2
3
Remark. By trigonometry, we can create many hard and beautiful inequalities.
From the simple, we will gradually reach the Mathematics horizon.

References:
[1] Titu Andresscu, Vasile Cirtoaje, Gabriel Dospinescu, Old and new inequalities,
GIL publishinghouse, 2004.
[2] Vardan Verdiyan, Daniel Campos Salas, Simple trigonometric substitutions
with broad results, Mathematical Reflections 6, 2007.
[3] http://forum.mathscope.org.