The name "functional equation" is used for problems where the goal is to find all functions satisfying the given equation (and maybe some other conditions). So in this case, solving the equation means finding all functions fulfilling the equation. (This is different from the more common use of the ...

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96
votes
7answers
4k views

Continuous function $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $f(f(x)) = -x$?

I've been perusing the internet looking for interesting problems to solve. I found the following problem and have been going at it for the past 30 minutes with no success: Find a continuous ...
63
votes
7answers
2k views

Does a non-trivial solution exist for $f'(x)=f(f(x))$?

Does $f'(x)=f(f(x))$ have any solutions other than $f(x)=0$? I have become convinced that it does (see below), but I don't know of any way to prove this. Is there a nice method for solving this kind ...
38
votes
2answers
720 views

Looking for a function such that…

There was this question on one of the whiteboards at my company, and I found it intriguing. Maybe it's a dumb thing to ask. Maybe there is a simple answer that I couldn't see. Anyway, here it is: ...
32
votes
6answers
860 views

How to find $f$ if $f(f(x))=\frac{x+1}{x+2}$

let $f:\mathbb R\to \mathbb R$,and such $$f(f(x))=\dfrac{x+1}{x+2}$$ Find the $f(x)$ My try I found $f(x)=\dfrac{1}{x+1}$ because when $f(x)=\dfrac{1}{x+1}$,then ...
30
votes
7answers
1k views

How to obtain $f(x)$, if it is known that $f(f(x))=x^2+x$?

How to get $f(x)$, if we know that $f(f(x))=x^2+x$? Is there an elementary function $f(x)$ that satisfies the equation?
28
votes
2answers
762 views

How prove there is no continuous functions $f:[0,1]\to \mathbb R$, such that $f(x)+f(x^2)=x$.

Prove that there is no continuous functions $f:[0,1]\to R$, such that $$ f(x)+f(x^2)=x. $$ My try. Assume that there is a continuous function with this property. Thus, for any $n\ge 1$ and all ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

Find $f(x)$ such that $f(f(x)) = x^2 - 2$

Find all $f(x)$ satisfying $f(f(x)) = x^2 - 2$. Presumably $f(x)$ is supposed to be a function from $\mathbb R$ to $\mathbb R$ with no further restrictions (we don't assume continuity, etc), but ...
25
votes
2answers
641 views

$f(x+1)=f(x)+1$ and $f(x^2)=f(x)^2$

A function that satisfies both $f(x+1)=f(x)+1$ and $f(x^2)=f(x)^2$ for all real $x$ is known to be the identity over $\mathbb Q$, but is it also the identity over $\mathbb R$? If not, can you provide ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

Find all polynomials $P$ such that $P(x^2+1)=P(x)^2+1$

Find all polynomials $P$ such that $P(x^2+1)=P(x)^2+1$
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Prove that this function is bounded

This is an exercise from Problems from the Book by Andreescu and Dospinescu. When it was posted on AoPS a year ago I spent several hours trying to solve it, but to no avail, so I am hoping someone ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Given $f(f(x))$ can we find $f(x)$?

Given $f(f(x))=x+2$ does it necessarily follow that $f(x)=x+1$? This question comes from a precalculus algebra student.
22
votes
2answers
506 views

Do there exist functions $f$ such that $f(f(x))=x^2-x+1$ for every $x$?

My question is on the existence (or not) of a function $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ which satisfy the equation: $$f(f(x))=x^2-x+1 \text{ for every }x\in\mathbb{R}$$ Supposing that such a map do exist ...
21
votes
0answers
454 views

Find all functions $f$ such that if $a+b$ is a square, then $f(a)+f(b)$ is a square

Question: For any $a,b\in \mathbb{N}^{+}$, if $a+b$ is a square number, then $f(a)+f(b)$ is also a square number. Find all such functions. My try: It is clear that the function $$f(x)=x$$ ...
19
votes
2answers
787 views

Which $f$ satisfy the equation $\,\,f(x)\,f(y)-f(x+y)=\sin x\,\sin y\,$?

Find all continuous functions $f$ which satisfy the functional equation $$ f(x)\,f(y)-f(x+y)=\sin x\,\sin y, $$ for all $x,y\in\mathbb R$. I can prove that $f(n\pi)=\cos\left(n\pi\right)$ for all ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

$f\colon\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $f(x)+f(f(x))=x^2$ for all $x$?

A friend came up with this problem, and we and a few others tried to solve it. It turned out to be really hard, so one of us asked his professor. I came with him, and it took me, him and the ...
19
votes
4answers
883 views

thoughts about $f(f(x))=e^x$

I was thinking, inspired by mathlinks, precisely from this post, if there exists a continuous real function $f:\mathbb R\to\mathbb R$ such that $$f(f(x))=e^x.$$ However I have not still been able to ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Overview of basic facts about Cauchy functional equation

The Cauchy functional equation asks about functions $f \colon \mathbb R \to \mathbb R$ such that $$f(x+y)=f(x)+f(y).$$ It is a very well-known functional equation, which appears in various areas of ...
19
votes
1answer
507 views

Functions $f$ satisfying $ f\circ f(x)=2f(x)-x,\forall x\in\mathbb{R}$.

How to prove that the continuous functions $f$ on $\mathbb{R}$ satisfying $$f\circ f(x)=2f(x)-x,\forall x\in\mathbb{R},$$ are given by $$f(x)=x+a,a\in\mathbb{R}.$$ Any hints are welcome. Thanks.
19
votes
2answers
414 views

Proving that $f(n)=n$ if $f(n+1)>f(f(n))$

How can we prove that if $f:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\mathbb{N}$ is a function so that $f(n+1)>f(f(n))$ for all $n\in\mathbb{N}$ then $f(n)=n$ for all $n\in\mathbb{N}$?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

I am searching for an unusual real-valued function.

It needs to fulfill following condition for all positive $x,y ∈ ℝ$: $$f(x)+f(y)+2xyf(xy)=\frac{f(xy)}{f(x+y)}$$ any ideas?
18
votes
4answers
683 views

Solving functional equation $f(x)^2+f(y)^2=f(x+y)(f(f(x))+f(y))$

I was trying to find functions $f:(0,+\infty)\to(0,+\infty)$ satisfying the following functional equation $$ f(x)^2+f(y)^2=f(x+y)(f(f(x))+f(y)) $$ The problem is that I can't find here any reasonable ...
18
votes
2answers
393 views

Find $f(x)$ where $ f(x)+f\left(\frac{1-x}x\right)=x$

What function satisfies $ f(x)+f\left(\frac{1-x}x\right)=x$ ?
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a name for function with the exponential property $f(x+y)=f(x) \cdot f(y)$?

I was wondering if there is a name for a function that satisfies the conditions $f:\mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ and $f(x+y)=f(x) \cdot f(y)$? Thanks and regards!
17
votes
2answers
851 views

A functional equation with no solution

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\to (0,\infty)$ be a differentiable function satisfying $$f(f(x))=f^\prime(x)$$for each $x$. Show no such function exists. I got this problem in an exam. I haven't done anything ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

About the addition formula $f(x+y) = f(x)g(y)+f(y)g(x)$

Consider the functional equation $$f(x+y) = f(x)g(y)+f(y)g(x)$$ valid for all complex $x,y$. The only solutions I know for this equation are $f(x)=0$, $f(x)=Cx$, $f(x)=C\sin(x)$ and $f(x)=C\sinh(x)$. ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

The easy(?) part of IMO 2011 Problem 3

Let $f : \mathbb R \to \mathbb R$ be a real-valued function defined on the set of real numbers that satisfies $$f(x + y) \leq yf(x) + f(f(x))$$ for all real numbers $x$ and $y$. How can I prove that ...
16
votes
3answers
492 views

Improvement IMO 1988 $f(f(n))=n+1987$

The following problem was given at IMO 1987. Prove that there is no function f from the set of non-negative integers into itself such that $f(f(n)) = n + 1987$ for every $n$. So I tried to ...
15
votes
6answers
747 views

Solution to $1-f(x) = f(-x)$

Can we find $f(x)$ given that $1-f(x) = f(-x)$ for all real $x$? I start by rearranging to: $f(-x) + f(x) = 1$. I can find an example such as $f(x) = |x|$ that works for some values of $x$, but not ...
15
votes
4answers
539 views

Find all bijections $\,\,f:[0,1]\rightarrow[0,1],\,$ which satisfy $\,\,f\big(2x-f(x)\big)=x$.

A friend of mine gave me the following problem: Find all functions $f:[0,1]\to[0,1]$, which are one-to-one and onto and satisfy the following functional relation: $$ f\big(2x-f(x)\big)=x, \tag{1} $$ ...
15
votes
3answers
782 views

Continuous function satisfying $f^{k}(x)=f(x^k)$

How does one set out to find all continuous functions $f:\mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ which satisfy $f^{k}(x)=f(x^k)$ , where $k \in \mathbb{N}$? Motivation: Is $\sin(n^k) ≠ (\sin n)^k$ in general?
15
votes
4answers
295 views

Find $f''(x)$ if $f\circ f'(x) = 4x^2 + 3$

Can you tell me the solution of this question? If: $f\circ f'(x)=4 x^2 +3$ then what is $f''(x)$? This was a question in math test which I just took yesterday. One function satisfying the ...
14
votes
4answers
568 views

Polynomial: $p(x) = p(x+3)$.

Determine polynomial $p(x)$ s.t. $p(x) = p(x+3)$. Just by looking at the above equation, it immediately appears that p has got to be some kind of constant function. I thought it might also be a ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Prove that function is continuous without knowing the function explicitly

Let $f\colon \mathbb R^+\to\mathbb R$ be a function that satisfies the following conditions: $$\tag1 \lim_{x\to 1}f(x)=0 $$ $$\tag2f(x_1)+f(x_2)=f(x_1x_2)$$ Show that $f$ is continuous in its domain. ...
14
votes
4answers
617 views

Solving (quadratic) equations of iterated functions, such as $f(f(x))=f(x)+x$

In this thread, the question was to find a $f: \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ such that $$f(f(x)) = f(x) + x$$ (which was revealed in the comments to be solved by $f(x) = \varphi x$ where $\varphi$ is ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Solving Differential Functional Equation $f(2x)=2f(x)f'(x)$

Find all functions satisfying $f(2x)=2f'(x)f(x)$ Under given condition, can't we find explicit solutions?
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Find all functions with $f(x + y) + f(x - y) = 2 f(x) f(y)$ and $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f(x)=0$.

Determine all functions $f \colon\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ satisfying the following two conditions: (a) $f(x +y) + f(x - y) = 2 f(x) f(y)$ for all $x, y\in\mathbb{R}$; (b) ...
14
votes
3answers
757 views

The Notorious Triangle Problem

I was told this question by a friend, who said that their friend had thought about it on and off for six months without any luck. I have then had it for a while without any luck either. It is in the ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

$f(x+y)+f(x-y)=2[f(x)+f(y)]$

Here is the problem: Find all continuous $f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ which satisfy $$f(x+y)+f(x-y)=2[f(x)+f(y)]\;\;\;(1).$$ Here is my attempt: Fix $\delta>0$ and let ...
14
votes
1answer
372 views

Condition for an additive function to be continuous

The problem below is Problem 7 from this year's Miklos Schweitzer competition (contest ended Nov 4th). Suppose that $f: \Bbb{R} \to \Bbb{R}$ is an additive function (that is $f(x+y) = f(x)+f(y)$ ...
14
votes
2answers
891 views

If $f\colon \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ is such that $f (x + y) = f (x) f (y)$ and continuous at $0$, then continuous everywhere

Prove that if $f\colon\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ is such that $f(x+y)=f(x)f(y)$ for all $x,y$, and $f$ is continuous at $0$, then it is continuous everywhere. If there exists $c \in \mathbb{R}$ ...
13
votes
5answers
392 views

If $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ is continuous and $f(x)\neq x$ for all $x$, must it be true that $f(f(x))\neq x$ for all $x$?

Let $f: \Bbb R → \Bbb R$ be a continuous function such that $f(x)=x$ has no real solution . Then is it true that $f(f(x))=x$ also has no real solution ?
13
votes
4answers
388 views

Find all functions $f(x+y)=f(x^{2}+y^{2})$ for positive $x,y$

Find all functions $f:\mathbb{R}^{+}\to \mathbb{R}$ such that for any $x,y\in \mathbb{R}^{+}$ the following holds: $$f(x+y)=f(x^{2}+y^{2}).$$
13
votes
4answers
827 views

Solving for the implicit function $f\left(f(x)y+\frac{x}{y}\right)=xyf\left(x^2+y^2\right)$ and $f(1)=1$

How can I find all functions $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $f(1)=1$ and $$f\left(f(x)y+\frac{x}{y}\right)=xyf\left(x^2+y^2\right)$$ for all real numbers $x$ and $y$ with $y\neq0$? PS. This is ...
13
votes
3answers
773 views

very elementary proof of Maxwell's theorem

Maxwell's theorem (after James Clerk Maxwell) says that if a function $f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$ of $n$ real variables is a product $f_1(x_1)\cdots f_n(x_n)$ and is rotation-invariant in the sense that the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does $f(x) = f(2x)$ for all real $x$, imply that $f(x)$ is a constant function?

If a Continuous function $f(x)$ satisfies $f(x) = f(2x)$, for all real $x$, then does $f(x)$ necessarily have to be constant function? If so, how do you prove it? If not any counter examples?
12
votes
3answers
218 views

What was this theorem called

Back at the university we have proven (lot of work) that if $$S(X)C(Y)+C(X)S(Y) = S(X+Y)$$ and $$C(X)C(Y)-S(X)S(Y) = C(X+Y)$$ then $S(X)$ is $\sin(x)$ and $C(X)$ is $\cos(x)$ (or constant $0$, meh). ...
12
votes
5answers
583 views

$g(x+y)+g(x)g(y)=g(xy)+g(x)+g(y)$ for all $x,y$.

Find all functions $g:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ with $g(x+y)+g(x)g(y)=g(xy)+g(x)+g(y)$ for all $x,y$. I think the solutions are $0, 2, x$. If $g(x)$ is not identically $2$, then $g(0)=0$. I'm trying ...
12
votes
2answers
190 views

About the solution of the infinite recurrence $f(x,f(x,f(x,f(x,f(…))))=a$

On internet I found some recreational problems as $$3=\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+...}}}}$$ $$\frac{1}{2}=\frac{1}{x+\frac{1}{x+...}}$$ $$2=x^{x^{x^{...}}}$$ And the trick to solve them was just ...
12
votes
2answers
156 views

Functions satisfying $f:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\ \mathbb{N}$ and $f(f(n))+f(n+1)=n+2$

Find all functions $f$ such that $f:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\ \mathbb{N}$ and $f(f(n))+f(n+1)=n+2$ Let us plug in $n=1$ $f(f(1))+f(2)=3$ Since the function is from $\mathbb{N}$ to $\mathbb{N}$, ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

How to find the function $f$ given $f(f(x)) = 2x$?

I was wondered how to find the function in this equality: $f(f(x))=2x$. Also $f$ is continuous. I don't need the answer, how to find it is more important.