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Samin Riasat

ii

Introduction

The aim of this note is to acquaint students, who want to participate in mathematical Olympiads, to

Olympiad level inequalities from the basics. Inequalities are used in all fields of mathematics. They have

some very interesting properties and numerous applications. Inequalities are often hard to solve, and it is

not always possible to find a nice solution. But it is worth approaching an inequality rather than solving

it. Most inequalities need to be transformed into a suitable form by algebraic means before applying

some theorem. This is what makes the problem rather difficult. Throughout this little note you will find

different ways and approaches to solve an inequality. Most of the problems are recent and thus need a

fruitful combination of wisely applied techniques.

It took me around two years to complete this; although I didn’t work on it for some months during

this period. I have tried to demonstrate how one can use the classical inequalities through different ex-

amples that show different ways of applying them. After almost each section there are some exercise

problems for the reader to get his/her hands dirty! And at the end of each chapter some harder problems

are given for those looking for challenges. Some additional exercises are given at the end of the book for

the reader to practice his/her skills. Solutions to some selected problems are given in the last chapter to

present different strategies and techniques of solving inequality problems. In conclusion, I have tried to

explain that inequalities can be overcome through practice and more practice.

Finally, though this note is aimed for students participating in the Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad

who will be hoping to be in the Bangladesh IMO team I hope it will be useful for everyone. I am really

grateful to the MathLinks forum for supplying me with the huge collection of problems.

Samin Riasat

28 November, 2008

iii

iv INTRODUCTION

Contents

Introduction iii

1.1 General AM-GM Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1.2 Weighted AM-GM Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1.3 More Challenging Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

2.1 Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2.2 Hölder’s Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

2.3 More Challenging Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

3.1 Rearrangement Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

3.2 Chebyshev’s inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

3.3 More Chellenging Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

4.1 Schur’s Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

4.2 Jensen’s Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

4.3 Minkowski’s Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

4.4 Ravi Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

4.5 Normalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

4.6 Homogenization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

5 Supplementary Problems 31

References 39

v

vi CONTENTS

Chapter 1

The most well-known and frequently used inequality is the Arithmetic mean-Geometric mean inequality

or widely known as the AM-GM inequality. The term AM-GM is the combination of the two terms

Arithmetic Mean and Geometric Mean. The arithmetic mean of two numbers a and b is defined by a+b2 .

√

Similarly ab is the geometric mean of a and b. The simplest form of the AM-GM inequality is the

following:

a+b √

≥ ab.

2

(a + b)2 ≥ 4ab,

which is equivalent to

(a − b)2 ≥ 0.

This is obviously true. Equality holds if and only if a = b.

a2 + b2 + c2 ≥ ab + bc + ca.

a2 + b2 ≥ 2ab,

b2 + c2 ≥ 2bc,

c2 + a2 ≥ 2ca.

Adding the three inequalities and then dividing by 2 we get the desired result. Equality holds if and only

if a = b = c.

1

2 CHAPTER 1. THE AM-GM INEQUALITY

However, the general AM-GM inequality is also true for any n positive numbers.

General AM-GM Inequality. For positive real numbers a1 , a2 , . . . , an the following inequality holds.

a1 + a2 + · · · + an √

≥ n a1 a2 · · · an ,

n

with equality if and only if a1 = a2 = · · · = an .

Proof. Here we present the well known Cauchy’s proof by induction. This special kind of induction

is done by performing the following steps:

i. Base case.

ii. Pn =⇒ P2n .

iii. Pn =⇒ Pn−1 .

Step 1: We already proved the inequality for n = 2. For n = 3 we get the following inequality:

a+b+c √ 3

≥ abc.

3

Letting a = x3 , b = y 3 , c = z 3 we equivalently get

x3 + y 3 + z 3 − 3xyz ≥ 0.

This is true by Example 1.1.1 and the identity

x3 + y 3 + z 3 − 3xyz = (x + y + z)(x2 + y 2 + z 2 − xy − yz − zx).

Equality holds for x = y = z, that is, a = b = c.

a1 + a2 + · · · + an √

≥ n a1 a2 · · · an .

n

Now it’s not difficult to notice that

√ √ √

a1 + a2 + · · · + a2n ≥ n n a1 a2 · · · an + n n an+1 an+2 · · · a2n ≥ 2n 2n a1 a2 · · · a2n

implying P2n is true.

a1 + a2 + · · · + an √

≥ n a1 a2 · · · an .

n

√

As this is true for all positive ai s, we let an = n−1 a1 a2 · · · an−1 . So now we have

a1 + a2 + · · · + an √

q

≥ n a1 a2 · · · an−1 n−1 a1 a2 · · · an−1

n q

n n

= (a1 a2 · · · an−1 ) n−1

√

= n−1 a1 a2 · · · an−1

= an ,

1.1. GENERAL AM-GM INEQUALITY 3

a1 + a2 + · · · + an−1 √

≥ an = n−1 a1 a2 · · · an−1 .

n−1

The proof is thus complete. It also follows by the induction that equality holds for a1 = a2 = · · · = an .

Try to understand yourself why this induction works. It can be useful sometimes.

Example 1.1.2. Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an be positive real numbers such that a1 a2 · · · an = 1. Prove that

(1 + a1 )(1 + a2 ) · · · (1 + an ) ≥ 2n .

Solution. By AM-GM,

√

1 + a1 ≥ 2 a1 ,

√

1 + a2 ≥ 2 a2 ,

..

.

√

1 + an ≥ 2 an .

Multiplying the above inequalities and using the fact a1 a2 · · · an =1 we get our desired result. Equality

holds for ai = 1, i = 1, 2, . . . , n.

a+b b+c c+a

√ √ √ ≥ 2 · 2 · 2,

ab bc ca

a3 b3 c3

+ + ≥ a + b + c.

bc ca ab

r

a3 3 a

3

+b+c≥3 · b · c = 3a,

bc r bc

b3 3 b

3

+c+a≥3 · c · a = 3b,

ca r ca

c3 3 c

3

+a+b≥3 · a · b = 3c.

ab ab

4 CHAPTER 1. THE AM-GM INEQUALITY

a3 b3 c3

+ + + 2(a + b + c) ≥ 3(a + b + c),

bc ca ab

which was what we wanted.

Example 1.1.5. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

r

X a

ab(a + b) + bc(b + c) + ca(c + a) ≥ ab (b + c)(c + a).

cyc

b

Solution. By AM-GM,

= ab(a + b) + ac(a + c) + bc(b + c) + ab(a + b) + ac(a + c) + bc(b + c)

= a2 (b + c) + b2 (a + c) + c2 (a + b) + (a2 b + b2 c + a2 c) + (ab2 + bc2 + a2 c)

≥ a2 (b + c) + b2 (a + c) + c2 (a + b) + (a2 b + b2 c + a2 c) + 3abc

= a2 (b + c) + b2 (a + c) + c2 (a + b) + ab(a + c) + bc(a + b) + ac(b + c)

= a2 (b + c) + ab(a + c) + b2 (a + c) + bc(a + b) + c2 (a + b) + ac(b + c)

p p p

≥ 2 a3 b(b + c)(a + c) + 2 b3 c(a + c)(a + b) + 2 c3 a(a + b)(b + c)

r r r

a b c

= 2ab (b + c)(a + c) + 2cb (a + c)(a + b) + 2ac (a + b)(b + c).

b c a

a b

+ ≥ 2.

b a

Exercise 1.1.2. For all real numbers a, b, c prove the following chain inequality

a3 + b3 + c3 ≥ a2 b + b2 c + c2 a.

Exercise 1.1.5. Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that abc = 1. Prove that

a2 + b2 + c2 ≥ a + b + c.

1.2. WEIGHTED AM-GM INEQUALITY 5

1 1 1

(a + b + c) + + ≥ 9.

a b c

(b) For positive real numbers a1 , a2 , . . . , an prove that

1 1 1

(a1 + a2 + · · · + an ) + + ··· + ≥ n2 .

a1 a2 an

Exercise 1.1.7. Let a, b, c be nonnegative real numbers such that a + b + c = 3. Prove that

a2 + b2 + c2 + ab + bc + ca ≥ 6.

a2 b2 c2 d2

+ + + ≥ a + b + c + d.

b c d a

The weighted version of the AM-GM inequality follows from the original AM-GM inequality. Suppose

that a1 , a2 , . . . , an are positive real numbers and let m1 , m2 , . . . , mn be positive integers. Then we have

by AM-GM,

a + a1 + · · · + a1 + a2 + a2 + · · · + a2 + · · · + an + an + · · · + an

|1 {z } | {z } | {z }

m1 m2 mn

m1 + m2 + · · · + mn

1

m1 +m2 +···+mn

≥ a1 a1 . . . a1 a2 a2 . . . a2 · · · an an . . . an .

| {z } | {z } | {z }

m1 m2 mn

m1 a1 + m2 a2 + · · · + mn an 1

≥ (am 1 m2 mn m1 +m2 +···+mn

1 a2 · · · an ) .

m1 + m2 + · · · + mn

Or equivalently in symbols P

ma Y P1

P i i ≥ mi mi

ai .

mi

mk mk

Letting ik = P = for k = 1, 2, . . . , n we can rewrite this as follows:

mj m1 + m2 + · · · + mn

Weighted AM-GM Inequality. For positive real numbers a1 , a2 , . . . , an and n weights i1 , i2 , . . . , in

n

X

such that ik = 1, we have

k=1

6 CHAPTER 1. THE AM-GM INEQUALITY

Although we have a proof if i1 , i2 , . . . , in are rational, this inequality is also true if they are positive real

numbers. The proof, however, is beyond the scope of this note.

Example 1.2.1. Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that a + b + c = 3. Show that

ab bc ca ≤ 1

a+b+c

1=

3

ab + bc + ca

≥

a+b+c

1

a+b+c

≥ ab bc ca ,

which implies ab bc ca ≤ 1.

Example 1.2.2. (Nguyen Manh Dung) Let a, b, c > 0 such that a + b + c = 1. Prove that

aa bb cc + ab bc ca + ac ba cb ≤ 1.

a2 + b2 + c2 1

≥ (aa bb cc ) a+b+c =⇒ a2 + b2 + c2 ≥ aa bb cc ,

a+b+c

ab + bc + ca 1

≥ (ab bc ca ) a+b+c =⇒ ab + bc + ca ≥ aa bb cc ,

a+b+c

ac + ba + cb 1

≥ (ac ba cb ) a+b+c =⇒ ab + bc + ca ≥ ac ba cb .

a+b+c

Summing up the three inequalities we get

(a + b + c)2 ≥ aa bb cc + ab bc ca + ba cb ac .

That is,

aa bb cc + ab bc ca + ac ba cb ≤ 1.

Very few inequalities can be solved using only the weighted AM-GM inequality. So no exercise in this

section.

1.3. MORE CHALLENGING PROBLEMS 7

Exercise 1.3.1. Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that abc = 1. Prove that

a b c

+ + ≥ a + b + c.

b c a

Exercise 1.3.2. (Michael Rozenberg) Let a, b, c and d be non-negative numbers such that a+b+c+d =

4. Prove that

4 a b c d

≥ + + + .

abcd b c d a

Exercise 1.3.3. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

a3 + b3 + c3 a + b + c a2 + b2 + c2 a2 b + b2 c + c2 a

≥ · ≥ .

3 3 3 3

Exercise 1.3.4.(a) (Pham Kim Hung) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

√

a b c 3 3 abc

+ + + ≥ 4.

b c a a+b+c

(b) (Samin Riasat) For real numbers a, b, c > 0 and n ≤ 3 prove that

√ !

a b c 3 3 abc

+ + +n ≥ 3 + n.

b c a a+b+c

Exercise 1.3.5. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that a + b + c = ab + bc + ca

and n ≤ 3. Prove that

a2 b2 c2 3n

+ + + 2 ≥ 3 + n.

b c a a + b2 + c2

8 CHAPTER 1. THE AM-GM INEQUALITY

Chapter 2

Inequalities

The Cauchy-Schwarz inequality is a very powerful inequality. It is very useful in proving both cyclic and

symmetric inequalities. The special equality case also makes it exceptional. The inequality states:

Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality. For any real numbers a1 , a2 , . . . , an and b1 , b2 , . . . , bn the following in-

equality holds.

a1 a2 an

with equality if the sequences are proportional. That is if = = ··· = .

b1 b2 bn

First proof. This is the classical proof of Cauchy-Schwarz inequality. Consider the quadratic

n

X n

X n

X n

X

2 2 2

f (x) = (ai x − bi ) = x ai − x 2ai bi + b2i = Ax2 + Bx + C.

i=1 i=1 i=1 i=1

Clearly f (x) ≥ 0 for all real x. Hence if D is the discriminant of f , we must have D ≤ 0. This implies

n

!2 n

! n

!

X X X

B 2 ≤ 4AC ⇒ 2ai bi ≤4 a2i b2i ,

i=1 i=1 i=1

which is equivalent to

n

! n

! n

!2

X X X

a2i b2i ≥ ai bi

i=1 i=1 i=1

b1 b2 bn

Equality holds when f (x) = 0 for some x, which happens if x = = = ··· = .

a1 a2 an

9

10 CHAPTER 2. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ AND HÖLDER’S INEQUALITIES

a2 b2 2a b

P 1 2 + P1 2 ≥ q P 1 1P ,

ai bi a2i b2i

a2 b2 2a b

P 2 2 + P2 2 ≥ q P 2 2P ,

ai bi a2i b2i

..

.

a2 b2 2a b

P n 2 + Pn 2 ≥ q P n nP .

ai bi a2i b2i

X 2ai bi

2≥ q P P 2 ,

a2i bi

which is equivalent to

n

! n

! n

!2

X X X

a2i b2i ≥ ai bi .

i=1 i=1 i=1

a2i b2i

Equality holds if for each i ∈ {1, 2, . . . , n}, = , which in turn is equiv-

a21 + a22 + · · · + a2n b21 + b22 + · · · + b2n

a1 a2 an

alent to = = ··· = .

b1 b2 bn

We could rewrite the above solution as follows

X a2i X b2i

2= +

a21 + a22 + · · · + a2n b21 + b22 + · · · + b2n

X 2ai bi

≥ q .

a21 + a22 + · · · + a2n b21 + b22 + · · · + b2n

X

Here the sigma notation denotes cyclic sum and it will be used everywhere throughout this note. It

is recommended that you get used to the summation symbol. Once you get used to it, it makes your life

easier and saves your time.

Cauchy-Schwarz in Engel Form. For real numbers ai , a2 , . . . , an and b1 , b2 , . . . , bn > 0 the follow-

ing inequality holds:

a21 a22 a2 (a1 + a2 + · · · + an )2

+ + ··· + n ≥ , (2.1)

b1 b2 bn b1 + b2 + · · · + bn

a1 a2 an

with equality if and only if = = ··· = .

b1 b2 bn

Although this is a direct consequence of the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, let us prove it in a different

way. For n = 2 this becomes

a2 b2 (a + b)2

+ ≥ . (2.2)

x y x+y

Clearing out the denominators, this is equivalent to

(ay − bx)2 ≥ 0,

2.1. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ INEQUALITY 11

a2 b2 c2 (a + b)2 c2 (a + b + c)2

+ + ≥ + ≥ .

x y z x+y z x+y+z

A similar inductive process shows that

a21 a22 a2 (a1 + a2 + · · · + an )2

+ + ··· + n ≥ .

b1 b2 bn b1 + b2 + · · · + bn

And the case of equality easily follows too.

X X X 2

b2i c2i ≥ bi ci .

Let ai be real numbers such that ai = bi ci . Then the above inequality is equivalent to

a21 a22 a2n (a1 + a2 + · · · + an )2

+ + · · · + ≥ .

b21 b22 b2n b21 + b22 + · · · + b2n

This is just (2.1).

3(a2 + b2 + c2 ) ≥ (a + b + c)2 .

Example 2.1.2. (Nesbitt’s Inequality) For positive real numbers a, b, c prove that

a b c 3

+ + ≥ .

b+c c+a a+b 2

a b c 9

+1+ +1+ +1≥ ,

b+c c+a a+b 2

or

1 1 1 9

(a + b + c) + + ≥ .

b+c c+a a+b 2

This can be written as

2 2 2 1 1 1

(x + y + z ) 2

+ 2+ 2 ≥ (1 + 1 + 1)2 ,

x y z

√ √ √

where x = b + c, y = c + a, z = a + b. Then this is true by Cauchy-Schwarz.

1 1 1 9

(a + b + c) + + ≥ ,

b+c c+a a+b 2

12 CHAPTER 2. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ AND HÖLDER’S INEQUALITIES

s

1 1 1

b+c+c+a+a+b b+c + c+a + a+b

p

3 1

· ≥ (b + c)(c + a)(a + b) · 3

,

3 3 (b + c)(c + a)(a + b)

which is true by AM-GM.

X a X a2 (a + b + c)2

= ≥ .

b+c ab + ca 2(ab + bc + ca)

So it remains to show that

(a + b + c)2 ≥ 3(ab + bc + ca) ⇔ (a − b)2 + (b − c)2 + (c − a)2 ≥ 0.

p p p

3x2 + xy + 3y 2 + yz + 3z 2 + zx ≤ 2(x + y + z).

r

Xp X X p

x(3x + y) ≤ x (3x + y) = 4(x + y + z)2 = 2(x + y + z).

Example 2.1.4. (IMO 1995) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that abc = 1. Prove that

1 1 1 3

+ + ≥ .

a3 (b + c) b3 (c + a) c3 (a + b) 2

1 1 1

Solution. Let x = , y = , z = . Then by the given condition we obtain xyz = 1. Note that

a b c

X 1 X 1 X x2

= = .

a3 (b + c) 1 1 1 y+z

+

x3 y z

Now by Cauchy-Schwarz inequality

X x2 √

(x + y + z)2 x+y+z 3 3 xyz 3

≥ = ≥ = ,

y+z 2(x + y + z) 2 2 2

where the last inequality follows from AM-GM.

a b c

+ + ≤ 1.

2a + b 2b + c 2c + a

Solution. We have

Xa

≤1

2a + b

X a 1

3

⇔ − ≤1−

2a + b 2 2

1X b 1

⇔ − ≤−

2 2a + b 2

X b

⇔ ≥ 1.

2a + b

2.1. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ INEQUALITY 13

X b b2 c2 a2 (a + b + c)2

= + + ≥ = 1.

2a + b 2ab + b2 2bc + c2 2ca + a2 2(ab + bc + ca) + b2 + c2 + a2

Example 2.1.6. (Vasile Cirtoaje, Samin Riasat) Let x, y, z be positive real numbers. Prove that

r r r

x y z 3

+ + ≤√ .

x+y y+z z+x 2

p p p

x(y + z)(z + x) + y(z + x)(x + y) + z(x + y)(y + z)

LHS = p

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

s

(x(y + z) + y(z + x) + z(x + y)) (z + x + x + y + y + z))

≤

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

s

(xy + yz + zx)(x + y + z)

= 4·

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

s

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x) + xyz

= 2·

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

r

xyz

= 2· 1+

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

r

1 3

≤ 2· 1+ = √ ,

8 2

where the last inequality follows from Example 2.1.3.

√ p √ p

ax + by + cz ≤ (a + b + c)(x + y + z).

Exercise 2.1.1. Prove Example 1.1.1 and Exercise 1.1.6 using Cauchy-Scwarz inequality.

a b c d

+ + + ≥ 2.

b+c c+d d+a a+b

a21 a22 a2

+ + · · · + n ≥ a1 + a2 + · · · + an .

a2 a3 a1

Exercise 2.1.4. (Michael Rozenberg) Let a, b, c, d be positive real numbers such that a2 +b2 +c2 +d2 =

4. Show that

a2 b2 c2 d2

+ + + ≥ 4.

b c d a

14 CHAPTER 2. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ AND HÖLDER’S INEQUALITIES

2 2 2

a b c 1

+ + ≥ .

a + 2b b + 2c c + 2a 3

Exercise 2.1.6. (Zhautykov Olympiad 2008) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that abc = 1.

Show that

1 1 1 3

+ + ≥ .

b(a + b) c(b + c) a(c + a) 2

Exercise 2.1.7. If a, b, c and d are positive real numbers such that a + b + c + d = 4 prove that

a b c d

+ + + ≥ 2.

1 + b2 c 1 + c2 d 1 + d2 a 1 + a2 b

q q p p

a1 + b1 + a22 + b22 + · · · + a2n + b2n ≥ (a1 + a2 + · · · + an )2 + (b1 + b2 + · · · + bn )2

2 2

Exercise 2.1.9. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be the side lengths of a triangle. Prove that

a b c

+ + ≥ 1.

3a − b + c 3b − c + a 3c − a + b

Exercise 2.1.10. (Pham Kim Hung) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that a + b + c = 1.

Prove that r

a b c 3

√ +√ +√ < .

a + 2b b + 2c c + 2a 2

r r r s

2a 2b 2c a b c

+ + ≤ 3 + + .

b+c c+a a+b b c a

Hölder’s inequality is a generalization of the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality. This inequality states:

Hölder’s Inequality. Let aij , 1 ≤ i ≤ m, 1 ≤ j ≤ n be positive real numbers. Then the following

inequality holds

v m

m

Y n

X Xn um

uY

a ij ≥ m

t ai .

j

i=1 j=1 j=1 i=1

2.2. HÖLDER’S INEQUALITY 15

It looks kind of difficult to understand. So for brevity a special case is the following: for positive real

numbers a, b, c, p, q, r, x, y, z,

Not only Hölder’s inequality is a generalization of Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, it is also a direct consequence

of the AM-GM inequality, which is demonstrated in the following proof of the special case: by AM-GM,

X a3 X p3 X x3

3 = + +

a3 + b3 + c3 p3 + q 3 + r3 x3 + y 3 + z 3

X apx

≥ 3 p ,

3

(a + b + c )(p + q 3 + r3 )(x3 + y 3 + z 3 )

3 3 3 3

which is equivalent to

p3

(a3 + b3 + c3 )(p3 + q 3 + r3 )(x3 + y 3 + z 3 ) ≥ apx + bqy + crz.

Verify that this proof also generalizes to the general inequality, and is similar to the one of the Cauchy-

Schwarz inequality. Here are some applications:

Example 2.2.1. (IMO 2001) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

a b c

√ +√ +√ ≥ 1.

a2 + 8bc b2 + 8ca c2 + 8ab

X X X

a a

√ √ a(a2 + 8bc) ≥ (a + b + c)3 .

a2 + 8bc a2 + 8bc

Thus we need only show that

(a + b + c)3 ≥ a3 + b3 + c3 + 24abc,

which is equivalent to

(a + b)(b + c)(c + a) ≥ 8abc.

This is just Example 1.1.3.

X a √ X a

√ ≥ a+b+c≥ √ .

a + 2b 2a + b

X X X

a a

√ √ a(a + 2b) ≥ (a + b + c)3 .

a + 2b a + 2b

Thus X 2

a

√ ≥ a + b + c.

a + 2b

16 CHAPTER 2. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ AND HÖLDER’S INEQUALITIES

s X

X a a

√ ≤ (a + b + c) .

2a + b 2a + b

≤ 1,

2a + b

which is Example 2.1.5.

Example 2.2.3. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be the side lengths of a triangle. Prove that

1 1 1 1

3

+ 3

+ 3

≤ .

8abc + (a + b − c) 8abc + (b + c − a) 8abc + (c + a − b) 3abc

Solution. We have

X 1 1

3

≤

8abc + (a + b − c) 3abc

X 1 1

3 1

⇔ − ≥ −

8abc 8abc + (a + b − c)3 8abc 3abc

X (a + b − c)3 1

⇔ 3

≥ .

8abc + (a + b − c) 3

X (a + b − c)3 (a + b + c)3 1

3

≥ 3 3 3

= .

8abc + (a + b − c) 3(24abc + (a + b − c) + (a + c − b) + (b + c − a) ) 3

In this solution, the following inequality was used: for all positive real numbers a, b, c, x, y, z,

a3 b3 c3 (a + b + c)3

+ + ≥ .

x y z 3(x + y + z)

Example 2.2.4. (IMO Shortlist 2004) If a, b, c are three positive real numbers such that ab+bc+ca =

1, prove that r r r

3 1 3 1 3 1 1

+ 6b + + 6c + + 6a ≤ .

a b c abc

1 7ab + bc + ca

Solution. Note that + 6b = . Hence our inequality becomes

a a

Xp

3 1

bc(7ab + bc + ca) ≤ 2 .

(abc) 3

r

Xp 3

X 2 X

3

bc(7ab + bc + ca) ≤ a 9 bc .

2.3. MORE CHALLENGING PROBLEMS 17

1

9(a + b + c)2 (ab + bc + ca) ≤

(abc)2

⇔ [3abc(a + b + c)]2 ≤ (ab + bc + ca)4 ,

X

(ab + bc + ca)2 ≥ 3abc(a + b + c) ⇔ a2 (b − c)2 ≥ 0.

Another formulation of Hölder’s inequality is the following: for positive real numbers ai , bi , p, q (1 ≤ i ≤ n)

1 1

such that + = 1,

p q

1 1

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn ≤ (ap1 + ap2 + · · · + apn ) p (bq1 + bq2 + · · · + bqn ) q .

Exercise 2.2.2. Let a, b, x and y be positive numbers such that 1 ≥ a11 + b11 and 1 ≥ x11 + y 11 .

Prove that 1 ≥ a5 x6 + b5 y 6 .

a3 b3 c3 (a + b + c)3

+ + ≥ .

x y z 3(x + y + z)

Exercise 2.2.4. Let a, b, and c be positive real numbers. Prove the inequality

a6 b6 c6 abc(a + b + c)

+ 2 + 2 ≥ .

b2 +c 2 a +c 2 a + b2 2

Exercise 2.2.5. (Kyiv 2006) Let x, y and z be positive numbers such that xy + xz + yz = 1. Prove

that

x3 y3 z3 (x + y + z)3

+ + ≥ .

1 + 9y 2 xz 1 + 9z 2 yx 1 + 9x2 yz 18

ab bc ca √

√ +√ +√ ≥ ab + bc + ca.

ab + 2c2 bc + 2a2 ca + 2b2

Exercise 2.3.1. Let a, b, c > 0 and k ≥ 2. Prove that

a b c 3

+ + ≤ .

ka + b kb + c kc + a k+1

18 CHAPTER 2. CAUCHY-SCHWARZ AND HÖLDER’S INEQUALITIES

Exercise 2.3.2. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c, m, n be positive real numbers. Prove that

a2 b2 c2 3

+ + ≥ .

b(ma + nb) c(mb + nc) a(mc + na) m+n

Another formulation: Let a, b, c, m, n be positive real numbers such that abc = 1 Prove that

1 1 1 3

+ + ≥ .

b(ma + nb) c(mb + nc) a(mc + na) m+n

Exercise 2.3.3 (Michael Rozenberg, Samin Riasat) Let x, y, z > 0. Prove that

Xp Xp

x2 + xy + y 2 ≥ 2x2 + xy.

cyc cyc

Exercise 2.3.4 (Vasile Cirtoaje and Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c, k > 0. Prove that

r

a b c k+1

√ +√ +√ < (a + b + c).

ka + b kb + c kc + a k

Exercise 2.3.5. (Michael Rozenberg and Samin Riasat) Let x, y, z be positive real numbers such

that xy + yz + zx ≥ 3. Prove that

x y z

√ +√ +√ ≥ 1.

4x + 5y 4y + 5z 4z + 5x

√ √ √

a2 + abc b2 + abc c2 + abc 1

+ + ≤ √ .

c + ab a + bc b + ca 2 abc

*Exercise 2.3.7. (Ji Chen, Pham Van Thuan and Samin Riasat) Let x, y, z be positive real

numbers. Prove that

r r

2 2 2

4 27(x + y + z ) x y z 4 27(yz + zx + xy)

≥√ +√ +√ ≥ .

4 x+y y+z z+x 4

Chapter 3

Inequalities

A wonderful inequality is that called the Rearrangement inequality. The statement of the inequality is as

follows:

Rearrangement Inequality. Let (ai )ni=1 and (bi )ni=1 be sequences of positive numbers increasing or

decreasing in the same direction. That is, either a1 ≥ a2 ≥ · · · ≥ an and b1 ≥ b2 ≥ · · · ≥ bn or

a1 ≤ a2 ≤ · · · ≤ an and b1 ≤ b2 ≤ · · · ≤ bn . Then for any permutation (cn ) of the numbers (bn ) we have

the following inequalities

X n n

X n

X

ai bi ≥ ai ci ≥ ai bn−i+1 .

i=1 i=1 i=1

That is, the maximum of the sum occurs when the two sequences are similarly sorted, and the minimum

occurs when they are oppositely sorted.

ax by + · · · + ay bx + · · · + an bn . Then

S − S 0 = ax bx + ay by − ax by − ay bx = (ax − ay )(bx − by ) ≥ 0,

since both of ax − ay and bx − by are either positive, or negative, as the sequences are similarly sorted.

Hence the sum gets smaller whenever any two of the terms alter. This implies that the maximum must

occur when the sequences are sorted similarly. The other part of the inequality follows in a quite similar

manner and is left to the reader.

any permutation a01 , a02 , . . . , a0n we have f (a1 , a2 , . . . , an ) = f (a01 , a02 , . . . , a0n ). Then in order to prove

f (a1 , a2 , . . . , an ) ≥ 0 we may assume, without loss of generality, that a1 ≥ a2 ≥ · · · ≥ an . The reason

we can do so is because f remains invariant under any permutation of the ai ’s. This assumption is quite

useful sometimes; check out the following examples:

a2 + b2 + c2 ≥ ab + bc + ca.

19

20 CHAPTER 3. REARRANGEMENT AND CHEBYSHEV’S INEQUALITIES

Solution. We may assume, WLOG1 , that a ≥ b ≥ c ≥ 0, since the signs of a, b, c does not affect the left

side of the inequality. Applying the Rearrangement inequality for the sequences (a, b, c) and (a, b, c) we

conclude that

a·a+b·b+c·c≥a·b+b·c+c·a

=⇒ a2 + b2 + c2 ≥ ab + bc + ca.

a3 + b3 + c3 ≥ a2 b + b2 c + c2 a.

Solution. WLOG let a ≥ b ≥ c. Applying Rearrangement inequality for (a2 , b2 , c2 ) and (a, b, c) we

conclude that

a2 · a + b2 · b + c2 · c ≥ a2 · b + b2 · c + c2 · a.

Example 3.1.3. (Nesbitt’s inequality) For positive real numbers a, b, c prove that

a b c 3

+ + ≥ .

b+c c+a a+b 2

Solution. Since the inequality is symmetric in a, b, c we may WLOG assume that a ≥ b ≥ c. Then verify

1

that b + c ≤ c + a ≤ a + b i.e. b+c ≥ 1 ≥ a+b 1

. Now applying the Rearrangement inequality for the

c+a

1 1 1

sequences (a, b, c) and b+c , c+a , a+b we conclude that

a b c b c a

+ + ≥ + + ,

b+c c+a a+b b+c c+a a+b

and

a b c c a b

+ + ≥ + + .

b+c c+a a+b b+c c+a a+b

Adding the above inequalities we get

a b c b+c c+a a+b

2 + + ≥ + + = 3.

b+c c+a a+b b+c c+a a+b

Example 3.1.4 (IMO 1975) We consider two sequences of real numbers x1 ≥ x2 ≥ . . . ≥ xn and

y1 ≥ y2 ≥ . . . ≥ yn . Let z1 , z2 , . . . . , zn be a permutation of the numbers y1 , y2 , . . . , yn . Prove that

n

X n

X

2

(xi − yi ) ≤ (xi − zi )2 .

i=1 i=1

P P

Solution. Expanding and using the fact that

n

X n

X

xi yi ≥ x i zi ,

i=1 i=1

1

WLOG=Without loss of generality.

3.1. REARRANGEMENT INEQUALITY 21

aa bb cc ≥ ab bc ca

aa bb cc ≥ ab bc ca

⇔ aa−b bb−c ≥ ca−b cb−c ,

which is true, since aa−b ≥ ca−b and bb−c ≥ cb−c .

aa bb cc ≥ ab bc ca

⇔ cc−b cb−a ≥ bc−b ac−a ,

which is also true. Hence the inequality holds in all cases.

a ln a + b ln b + c ln c ≥ a ln b + b ln c + c ln a.

It is now clear that this holds by Rearrangement since the sequences (a, b, c) and (ln a, ln b, ln c) are sorted

similarly.

Note that the inequality holds even if a, b, c > 0, and in this case the first solution works but the second

solution needs some treatment which is left to the reader to fix.

a3 + b3 + c3 ≥ 3abc.

Solution. Applying the Rearrangement inequality for (a, b, c), (a, b, c), (a, b, c) we conclude that

a · a · a + b · b · b + c · c · c ≥ a · b · c + b · c · a + c · a · b.

In the same way as above, we can prove the AM-GM inequality for n variables for any n ≥ 2. This

demonstrates how strong the Rearrangement inequality is. Also check out the following example, illus-

trating the strength of Rearrangement inequality:

Example 3.1.7 (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

!2 ! !

X a X a2 X a

≤ .

cyc

b+c cyc

b2 + bc cyc

c+a

q q q q q q

a3 b3 c3 1 1 1

Solution. Note that the sequences b+c , c+a , a+b and ca+ab , ab+bc , bc+ca are oppositely

sorted. Therefore by Rearrangement inequality we get

r r r r

X a X a3 1 X a3 1

= · ≤ · .

b+c b+c ca + ab b+c ab + bc

22 CHAPTER 3. REARRANGEMENT AND CHEBYSHEV’S INEQUALITIES

r r s s

a3 a2

r

a2

X

X 1 X a X a

· = · ≤ ,

b+c ab + bc b(b + c) c+a b(b + c) c+a

ab bc ca

+ + ≥ a + b + c.

c a b

a8 + b8 + c8 1 1 1

3 3 3

≥ + + .

a b c a b c

a b c 1 1 1

+ + ≥ + + .

b(b + c) c(c + a) a(a + b) b+c c+a a+b

Exercise 3.1.6. (Yaroslavle 2006) Let a > 0, b > 0 and ab = 1. Prove that

a b 1

+ ≤ .

a2 + 3 b2 + 3 2

Exercise 3.1.7. Let a, b, c be positive real numbers satisfying abc = 1. Prove that

Exercise 3.1.8. Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that a + b + c = 1. Prove that

ab + c ac + b bc + a

+ + ≥ 2.

a+b a+c b+c

Exercise 3.1.9. (Novosibirsk 2007) Let a and b be positive numbers, and n ∈ N. Prove that

3.2. CHEBYSHEV’S INEQUALITY 23

Chebyshev’s inequality is a direct consequence of the Rearangement inquality. The statement is as follows:

Chebyshev’s Inequality. Let (ai )ni=1 and (bi )ni=1 be two sequences of positive real numbers.

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn a1 + a2 + · · · + an b1 + b2 + · · · + bn

≥ · . (3.1)

n n n

(ii ) If the sequences are oppositely sorted, then

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn a1 + a2 + · · · + an b1 + b2 + · · · + bn

≤ · . (3.2)

n n n

Proof. We will only prove (3.1). Since the sequences are similarly sorted, Rearrangement inequality

implies

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn = a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn ,

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn ≥ a1 b2 + a2 b3 + · · · + an b1 ,

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn ≥ a1 b3 + a2 b4 + · · · + an b2 ,

..

.

a1 b1 + a2 b2 + · · · + an bn ≥ a1 bn + a2 b1 + · · · + an bn−1 .

3(a2 + b2 + c2 ) ≥ (a + b + c)2 .

Solution. Applying Chebyshev’s inequality for (a, b, c) and (a, b, c) we conclude that

a8 + b8 + c8 1 1 1

≥ + + .

a3 b3 c3 a b c

≥ 3a2 b2 c2 (a2 + b2 + c2 )

≥ 3a2 b2 c2 (ab + bc + ca),

24 CHAPTER 3. REARRANGEMENT AND CHEBYSHEV’S INEQUALITIES

hence

a8 + b8 + c8 ab + bc + ca 1 1 1

3 3 3

≥ = + + .

a b c abc a b c

a b c a+b+c a+b+c

+ + ≥ √ ≥3 . (3.3)

x y z 3 xyz x+y+z

1 1 1

Solution. Applying Chebyshev’s inequality for a ≥ b ≥ c and x ≥ y ≥ z we deduce that

a b c 1 1 1 3(a + b + c) a+b+c

3 + + ≥ (a + b + c) + + ≥ √ ≥9 ,

x y z x y z 3 xyz x+y+z

which was what we wanted. Here the last two inequalities follow from AM-GM.

a3 b3 c3

+ + ≥ a + b + c.

bc ca ab

Solution. WLOG assume that a ≥ b ≥ c. Then a3 ≥ b3 ≥ c3 and bc ≤ ca ≤ ab. Hence using (3.3) and

(3.1) we conclude that

X a3 3(a3 + b3 + c3 ) (a + b + c)(a2 + b2 + c2 )

≥ ≥ ≥ a + b + c.

bc ab + bc + ca ab + bc + ca

s

k k k

k a1 + a2 + · · · + an a1 + a2 + · · · + an

≥ .

n n

Exercise 3.2.3. Deduce a proof of Nesbitt’s inequality from Chebyshev’s inequality. (Hint: you may use

Example 3.2.3)

n

X ai a1 + a2 + · · · + an n(a1 + a2 + · · · + an )

≥ √ ≥ .

bi n

b1 b2 . . . bn b1 + b2 + · · · + bn

i=1

Exercise 3.2.6. (Radu Titiu) Let a, b, c > 0 such that a2 + b2 + c2 ≥ 3. Show that

a2 b2 c2 3

+ + ≥ .

b+c c+a a+b 2

3.3. MORE CHELLENGING PROBLEMS 25

9 X 1 X X ab

≤ 2

· ab ≤ 3 2

.

2 cyc

c (a + b) cyc cyc

c (a + b)

a+b+c

aa bb cc ≥ (abc) 3 .

Exercise 3.3.1. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c > 0. Prove that

+ ≥ √

3

− 1.

min{a, b, c} max{a, b, c} abc

b1 + b2 + · · · + bn

(ii ) Let b = . Prove that

n

√

x3 + y 3 + z 3 3 3 xyz

+ ≥ 2.

3xyz x+y+z

Exercise 3.3.4. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

a2 + b2 + c2

2 a b c

≥ + + .

ab + bc + ca 3 b+c c+a a+b

*Exercise 3.3.5. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers and n be a positive integer. Prove

that !n ! !n−1

X a X an X a

≤ .

cyc

b+c cyc

bn + bn−1 c cyc

c+a

26 CHAPTER 3. REARRANGEMENT AND CHEBYSHEV’S INEQUALITIES

Chapter 4

Let a, b, c be positive real numbers, and n be positive. Then the following inequality holds:

Proof. Since the inequality is symmetric in a, b, c WLOG we may assume that a ≥ b ≥ c. Then

the inequality is equivalent to

Suppose f is a convex function in [a, b]. Then the inequality

a1 + a2 + · · · + an f (a1 ) + f (a2 ) + · · · + f (an )

f ≤

n n

is true for all ai ∈ [a, b]. Similarly, if f is concave in the interval the sign of inequality turns over. This is

called Jensen’s inequality.

The convexity is usually determined by checking if f 00 (x) ≥ 0 holds for all x ∈ [a, b]. Similarly for

concavity one can check if f 00 (x) ≤ 0 for all x ∈ [a, b]. Here is an example:

a+b+c

a b c a+b+c

a bc ≥ .

3

Solution. Consider the function f (x) = x ln x. Verify that f 00 (x) = 1/x > 0 for all x ∈ R+ . Thus f is

27

28 CHAPTER 4. OTHER USEFUL STRATEGIES

a+b+c

a+b+c a b c a+b+c 3

f (a) + f (b) + f (c) ≥ 3f ⇔ ln a + ln b + ln c ≥ 3 ln ,

3 3

which is equivalent to

a+b+c

a b c a+b+c

ln(a b c ) ≥ ln ,

3

which was what we wanted.

Minkowski’s inequality states that for positive numbers xi , yi and p the following inequality holds:

n

!1 n

!1 n

!1

X p X p X p

(xi + yi ) p

≤ xpi + yip .

i=1 i=1 i=1

Suppose that a, b, c are the side lengths of a triangle. Then positive real numbers x, y, z exist such that

a = x + y, b = y + z and c = z + x.

b+c−a

conclusion is obvious since s − a = > 0 and similarly for the others.

2

Geometrically, let D, E, F denote the points of tangency of BC, CA, AB, respectively, with the incir-

cle of triangle ABC. Then BD = BF = x, CD = CE = y and AE = AF = z implies the conclusion.

Here are some examples of how the Ravi transformation can transform a geometric inequality into an

algebraic one:

Example 4.4.1. (IMO 1964) Let a, b, c be the side lengths of a triangle. Prove that

a2 (b + c − a) + b2 (c + a − b) + c2 (a + b − c) ≤ 3abc.

or,

a(a − b)(a − c) + b(b − c)(b − a) + c(c − a)(c − b) ≥ 0,

4.5. NORMALIZATION 29

Example 4.4.2. Let a, b, c be the lengths of the sides of a triangle. Prove that

√ √ √ √ √ √

r

3 ab + bc + ca ≥ a + b − c + b + c − a + c + a − b.

!2

Xp X√

3 (x + y)(y + z) ≥ 2 x .

cyc cyc

Xp X √

3 (x + y)(y + z) ≥ 3 (y + zx)

cyc cyc

X X√

≥2 y+4 zx

cyc cyc

!2

X√

=2 x .

cyc

4.5 Normalization

Homogeneous inequalities can be normalized, e.g. applied restrictions with homogeneous expressions in

the variables. For example, in order to show that a3 + b3 + c3 − 3abc ≥ 0, one may assume, WLOG, that

abc = 1 or a + b + c = 1 etc. The reason is explained below.

Suppose that abc = k 3 . Let a = ka0 , b = kb0 , c = kc0 . This implies a0 b0 c0 = 1, and our inequality

becomes a03 + b03 + c03 − 3a0 b0 c0 ≥ 0, which is the same as before. Therefore the restriction abc = 1 doesn’t

change anything of the inequality. Similarly one might also assume a + b + c = 1. The reader is requested

to find out how it works.

4.6 Homogenization

This is the opposite of Normalization. It is often useful to substitute a = x/y, b = y/z, c = z/x, when

the condition abc = 1 is given. Similarly when a + b + c = 1 we can substitute a = x/x + y + z, b =

y/x + y + z, c = z/x + y + z to homogenize the inequality. For an example of homogenization note that

we can write the inequality in exercise 1.3.1 in the following form:

a b c a+b+c

+ + ≥ √

3

.

b c a abc

On the other hand, if we substitute a = x/y, b = y/z, c = z/x the inequality becomes,

zx xy yz x y z

2

+ 2 + 2 ≥ + + ,

y z x y z x

which clearly looks easier to deal with (Hint: Rearrangement). Many such substitutions exist, and the

reader is urged to study them and find them using his/her own ideas.

30 CHAPTER 4. OTHER USEFUL STRATEGIES

Chapter 5

Supplementary Problems

r r

ab + bc + ca 3 (a + b) (b + c) (c + a)

≤ .

3 8

a b c 3

4

+ 4

+ 4

≥ .

(b + c) (c + a) (a + b) 2(a + b)(b + c)(c + a)

Prove that p p p √

a 2b + c2 + b 2c + a2 + c 2a + b2 ≤ 3 3.

s

tan A + tan B + tan C ≥ ,

r

where s and r denote the semi-perimeter and the inraduis, respectively.

Exercise 5.1.6. (Iran 2008) Find the smallest real K such that for each x, y, z ∈ R+ :

√ √ √ p

x y + y z + z x ≤ K (x + y)(y + z)(z + x).

Exercise 5.1.7. (USA 1997) Prove the following inequality for a, b, c > 0

1 1 1 1

+ 3 + 3 ≤ .

a3 3 3 3

+ b + abc b + c + abc a + c + abc abc

x2 y y 2 z z 2 x

+ + ≥ x2 + y 2 + z 2 .

z x y

31

32 CHAPTER 5. SUPPLEMENTARY PROBLEMS

(c + a − b)4 (a + b − c)4 (b + c − a)4

+ + ≥ ab + bc + ca.

a(a + b − c) b(b + c − a) c(c + a − b)

(c + a − b)4 (a + b − c)4 (b + c − a)4

+ + ≥ a2 + b2 + c2 .

a(a + b − c) b(b + c − a) c(c + a − b)

Exercise 5.1.11. (Crux Mathematicorum) If a, b and c are the sidelengths of a triangle, then prove

the inequality

(b + c)2 (c + a)2 (a + b)2

+ 2 + 2 ≥ 6.

a2 + bc b + ca c + ab

X √ p

(a + b)(b + c) a − b + c ≥ 4(a + b + c) (−a + b + c)(a − b + c)(a + b − c).

cyc

√ √ √ √ p

abc( a + b + c) + (a + b + c)2 ≥ 4 3abc(a + b + c).

Exercise 5.1.14. Let a, b, c be non-negative real numbers such that a + b + c = 1. Prove that

1 Xp

ab + bc + ca ≤ (1 − ab)(1 − bc) ≤ a2 + b2 + c2 .

8 cyc

1 1 1

+ + = 2.

a2 + 1 b2 + 1 c2 + 1

3

Prove that ab + bc + ca ≤ .

2

Exercise 5.1.16. (Korea 1998) Let I be the incenter of triangle ABC. Prove that

3(IA2 + IB 2 + IC 2 ) ≥ AB 2 + BC 2 + CA2 .

Exercise 5.1.17. (Samin Riasat) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers such that a6 + b6 + c6 = 3. Prove

that

a7 b2 + b7 c2 + c7 a2 ≤ 3.

Exercise 5.1.18. (Samin Riasat) Let x, y, z be positive real numbers. Prove that

r r r

x y z x+y y+z z+x

+ + ≥ + + .

y z x 2z 2x 2y

Exercise 5.1.19. (Samin Riasat) Let x, y, z be positive real numbers. Prove that

r r r

xy yz zx 3

+ + ≤ .

(x + y)(y + z) (y + z)(z + x) (z + x)(x + y) 2

Chapter 6

Problems

1.1.3. a3 + a3 + b3 ≥ 3a2 b.

1.3.1. Use ab + ab + cb ≥ √

3

3a

to prove

abc

a b c a+b+c

+ + ≥ √

3

.

b c a abc

1.3.5. Prove and use the following:

a2 b2 c2 (a + b + c)(a2 + b2 + c2 )

+ + ≥ .

b c a ab + bc + ca

a 2

a

2.1.2. b+c = ab+ca .

2.1.5. Use Example 2.1.5. √

P √a2 +abc P a(c+a)(a+b)

2.3.6. Solution: Note that c+ab = (b+c)(c+a) .

p

X a(c + a)(a + b) a+b+c

≤ √

(b + c)(c + a) 2 abc

X p 1

⇐⇒ a(a + b) bc(c + a)(a + b) ≤ (a + b + c)(a + b)(b + c)(c + a).

2

By AM-GM, X p X

a(a + b) · 2 bc(c + a)(a + b) ≤ a(a + b)(b(c + a) + c(a + b))

X

= a(a + b)(ab + 2bc + ca).

Now

X X X X X

a(a + b)(ab + 2bc + ca) = a2 (ab + bc + ca) + a2 bc + ab(ab + bc + ca) + ab2 c

= (a2 + b2 + c2 + ab + bc + ca)(ab + bc + ca) + 2abc(a + b + c)

= (a + b + c)2 (ab + bc + ca) − (ab + bc + ca)2 + 2abc(a + b + c)

= (a + b + c)2 (ab + bc + ca) − (a2 b2 + b2 c2 + c2 a2 )

≤ (a + b + c)2 (ab + bc + ca) − abc(a + b + c)

= (a + b + c)(a + b)(b + c)(c + a),

33

34 CHAPTER 6. HINTS AND SOLUTIONS TO SELECTED PROBLEMS

2.3.7. Solution: For the right part, from Hölder’s Inequality we have

X X X

x x

√ √ x(x + y) ≥ (x + y + z)3

x+y x+y

s

X x (x + y + z)3

⇔ √ ≥ .

x+y x2 + y 2 + z 2 + xy + yz + zx

2

(x + y + z)3

27

≥ (yz + zx + xy).

x2 + y 2 + z 2 + xy + yz + zx 4

2

1 27t

≥

1−t 4

4

⇔ t(1 − t)2 ≤

27

⇔ (4 − 3t)(1 − 3t)2 ≥ 0,

r

X x 4 27 2

√ ≤ (x + y 2 + z 2 ).

cyc

x+y 4

We have

s !

X x X r x 4 x3

√ = 4

cyc

x+y cyc

x+y x+y

v ! s !

u

u Xr x X x 3

≤t

cyc

x+y cyc

x+y

v

u r

u 3 X x

≤ t√ x .

2 cyc x+y

r !2

3 X x 27

√ x ≤ (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ).

2 cyc x+y 4

Or,

!2

X r x 3

x ≤ (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ).

cyc

x+y 2

35

But we have

X r x

!2 P √ √ √ !2

x x y+z z+x

x = p

cyc

x+y (x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

P √ √ √ 2

(x y + z)( x z + x)

=

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

P 2 P

x (y + z) ( x(z + x))

≤ .

(x + y)(y + z)(z + x)

(pq − 3r)(p2 − q) 3

≤ (p2 − 2q)

pq − r 2

⇔ 2(p q − pq − 3p r + 3qr) ≤ 3(p3 q − p2 r − 2pq 2 + 2qr)

3 2 2

⇔ p3 q + 3p2 r ≥ 4pq 2

⇔ p2 q + 3pr ≥ 4q 2

⇔ (x + y + z)2 (xy + yz + zx) + 3xyz(x + y + z) ≥ 4(xy + yz + zx)2

⇔ (x2 + y 2 + z 2 )(xy + yz + zx) + 2(xy + yz + zx)2 + 3xyz(x + y + z) ≥ 4(xy + yz + zx)2

⇔ (x2 + y 2 + z 2 )(xy + yz + zx) + 3xyz(x + y + z) ≥ 2(xy + yz + zx)2

⇔ (x2 + y 2 + z 2 )(xy + yz + zx) ≥ 2(x2 y 2 + y 2 z 2 + z 2 x2 ) + xyz(x + y + z)

X X

⇔ x3 y ≥ 2 x2 y 2

sym sym

X

⇔ xy(x − y)2 ≥ 0,

sym

3.2.6. Use Example 3.2.3.

3.3.4. Solution: WLOG assume that a ≥ b ≥ c. This implies a + b ≥ c + a ≥ b + c. Therefore

a b c

≥ ≥

b+c c+a a+b

≥ b(c + a) ≥ c(a + b). Applying Chebyshev’s

a(b + c)

a b c

inequality for the similarly sorted sequences b+c , c+a , a+b and (a(b + c), b(c + a), c(a + b)) we get

X X

X a a

3 · a(b + c) ≥ a(b + c)

b+c b+c

X a

⇔ 3(a2 + b2 + c2 ) ≥ 2(ab + bc + ca)

b+c

36 CHAPTER 6. HINTS AND SOLUTIONS TO SELECTED PROBLEMS

an bn cn

3.3.5. Solution: Let x = b+c , y = c+a , z = a+b . Then

s

X a X

n

an

=

b+c (b + c)n

Xr x

= n

(b + c)n−1

s

X

n an−1 x

= .

(ca + ab)n−1

√

n

p √

n

q

1

q

1

q

1

But the sequences ( an−1 x, n bn−1 y, cn−1 z) and n (ca+ab)n−1 ,

n

(ab+bc)n−1 , n

(bc+ca) n−1 are oppo-

sitely sorted, since the sequences (a, b, c) and (x, y, z) are similarly sorted. Hence by Rearrangement

inequality we get

s s s

X an−1 x X a n−1 x X xan−1

n n n

≤ = .

(ca + ab)n−1 (ab + bc)n−1 bn−1 (c + a)n−1

s s

X a X xan−1 X x X a n−1

n n

≤ ≤ ,

b+c bn−1 (c + a)n−1 bn−1 c+a

a b c (a + b + c)2

+ + ≥ .

(b + c)4 (c + a)4 (a + b)4 2(ab + bc + ca)(a + b)(b + c)(c + a)

You may use Chebyshev’s inequality to prove it.

5.1.3. First Solution: Consider the numbers a2 − 1, b2 − 1, c2 − 1. Two of them must be of the same

sign i.e. either positive or negative. WLOG suppose that a2 − 1 and b2 − 1 are of the same sign. Then

2

(a2 − 1)(b2 − 1) ≥ 0 ⇒ a2 b2 + 1 ≥ a2 + b2 ≥ (a+b)

2 .

c2 (a + b)2

− 2c(a + b) + 2 + (a − b)2 ≥ 0.

2

Or,

1

(ca + bc − 2)2 + (a − b)2 ≥ 0,

2

which is obviously true.

Second Solution: WLOG we may assume that a, b, c are positive. First we have the following inequality

2

a2 + b2 + c2 + 3(abc) 3 ≥ 2(ab + bc + ca).

37

2 2 2 2 X 2

2 2 2

2 2 X

(a 3 )3 + (b 3 )3 + (c 3 )3 + 3(abc) 3 ≥ a3 b3 + a3 b3 ≥ 2ab.

2

2 + (abc)2 ≥ 3(abc) 3 .

2

Let (abc) 3 = t. We need to show that

2 + t3 ≥ 3t,

or,

(t − 1)2 (t + 2) ≥ 0,

which is obviously true.

X a3 + b3

≥2

a3 + b3 + abc

Verify that

a3 + b3 a+b

3 3

≥

a + b + abc a+b+c

⇔ c(a2 + b2 − ab) ≥ abc

⇔ c(a − b)2 ≥ 0

which is obviously true. Hence we conclude that

X a3 + b3 X a+b

≥ = 2.

a3 + b3 + abc a+b+c

X (a + b)(b + c)

p ≥ 4(a + b + c).

(b + c − a)(c + a − b)

p ≥ = .

(b + c − a)(c + a − b) b+c−a+c+a−b c

X (a + b)(b + c)

≥ 4(a + b + c).

c

Since the sequences { a1 , 1b , 1c } and {(c + a)(a + b), (a + b)(b + c), (b + c)(c + a)} are oppositely sorted, from

Rearrangement we get

X (a + b)(b + c) X (a + b)(b + c) ca

≥ =a+b+c+ .

c b b

Therefore it remains to show that X ca

≥ a + b + c,

b

38 CHAPTER 6. HINTS AND SOLUTIONS TO SELECTED PROBLEMS

X ca X ca

≥ = a + b + c.

b c

q q q

1−2y

5.1.15. Solution: Let x = 2a21+2 , y = 2b21+2 , z = 2c21+2 . Thus a = 1−2x

2x , b = 2y , c = 1−2z

2z . Then

from the given condition x + y + z = 1 and we need to prove that

s

X (1 − 2x)(1 − 2y) 3

≤ ,

cyc

2x · 2y 2

or s

X (y + z − x)(z + x − y)

≤ 3.

cyc

xy

But we have s

X (y + z − x)(z + x − y) X y+z−x z+x−y

2 ≤ + = 6.

cyc

xy cyc

y x

References

1. Pham Kim Hung, Secrets in Inequalities (Volume 1), GIL Publishing House, 2007.

2. Radmila Bulajich Manfrino, José Antonio Gómez Ortega, Rogelio Valcez Delgado, Inequalities,

Institudo de Matematicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2005.

3. http://www.mathlinks.ro

39

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