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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94
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 ...
37
votes
2answers
698 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
7answers
843 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
917 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 know it can't have any polynomial solutions. If $f$ has degree $n$, then $f(f(x))$ has degree $n^2$, while $f'(x)$ has degree $n-1$. I ...
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
692 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
634 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 ...
23
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.
19
votes
2answers
765 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
824 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
2answers
412 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
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
481 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.
18
votes
2answers
383 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
4answers
667 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 ...
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
2answers
807 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
733 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
521 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
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
259 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
5answers
389 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 ?
14
votes
4answers
558 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
4answers
567 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
750 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
3answers
767 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?
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
353 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
823 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
4answers
385 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
815 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
731 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
914 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
2answers
182 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 ...
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.
11
votes
3answers
605 views

$f(x^2) = xf(x)$ implies that $ f(x) = mx$?

Suppose a function $f : \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R} $ satisfies the relation $$f(x^2) = xf(x) \ \ \forall x$$ Does this imply $f$ must be a straight line, $f(x) = mx$? If so, why? If not, are there ...
11
votes
4answers
380 views

$f(16x)=16f(x) $ and $ f$ is continuous

$f: \mathbb{R}\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ is a continuous function such that $f(16x)=16f(x)$ for every real $x$. Should it be $f(x)=ax$? How can I prove that?
11
votes
2answers
202 views

Can every real function be represented as two shifted even functions?

I saw the theorem that every function can be represented as the sum of and even and odd function, and this made me wonder: can every function from the reals to the reals, defined on all the reals, be ...
11
votes
1answer
276 views

Is there a real-valued function $f$ such that $f(f(x)) = -x$?

Is there a function $f\colon \mathbb{R} \to\mathbb{R} $ such that $ f(f(x)) = -x$ ?
11
votes
3answers
486 views

First order differential equation involving inverse function

I am wondering if there is a way to solve a differential equation of the following form: $$\displaystyle \frac{f'(x)}{x} = \frac{1}{f^{-1}(x)} + \frac{1}{k}$$ We can assume that $f(x): [0,T] \to ...
11
votes
1answer
163 views

How find this function $f(x)$

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ be continuous such that $\dfrac{f(x)}{x}=f'\left(\dfrac{x}{2}\right)$. Find $f(x)$. (2):if $f(x)$ on $x\in[a,b] $ be continuous,find all $f(x)$? I think this is an ...