Let $\mathbb{Z}^{+}=\{1, 2, 3, ...\}$ denote the set of positive integers.

Problem 1. Are there any non-constant functions $f\colon \mathbb{Z}^{+}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $$ x f(y) + y f(x) = (x+y) f(x^2+y^2) $$ for all $x, y\in\mathbb{Z}^{+}$?

Clearly, the constant functions satisfy the functional equation above, and so it is natural to see if there are any non-constant examples. The motivation for this problem comes from a related (and easier problem) from Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (Year 2002):

Problem 2. Find all functions $f\colon \mathbb{Z}^{+}\to\mathbb{Z}^{+}$ such that $$ x f(y) + y f(x) = (x+y) f(x^2+y^2) $$ for all $x, y\in\mathbb{Z}^{+}$.

This second problem has a nice solution. I don't want to spoil it for others, so if you want to read it, you can hover over the following solution (I divided it into steps, in case you want to have hints one step at a time):

Solution to Problem 2. We claim that only the constant functions $f:\mathbb{Z}^{+}\to\mathbb{Z}^{+}$ satisfy the functional equation above.

Assume, to the contrary, there is a non-constant function $f$ with this property. Thus, there exist positive integers $a$ and $b$ such that $f(a)<f(b)$. Then using the functional equation, one gets:

$$ (a+b) f(a) < (a+b) f(a^2+b^2) < (a+b) f(b)$$

So, $f(a) < f(a^2+b^2) < f(b)$. We have shown that between any two distinct points in the image of $f$, there is a third point in between. And this process can be repeated forever. However, this is a contradiction since the target of $f$ is the natural numbers $\mathbb{Z}^{+}$. As you can see, this solution does not work when the target is $\mathbb{R}$, hence the reason for asking this question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Did you see Dylan's solution in this post? It doesn't seem to require that the image is N. $\endgroup$
    – Calvin Lin
    Jun 13, 2020 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Calvin Thank you for the comment! I have looked at Dylan's solution, but he assumes that $0\in\mathbb{N}$, which makes the problem easier (I think). $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 14, 2020 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ Misread the question in my previous (deleted) comments, anyway here is a reference to official Problem 2 solution: www2.cms.math.ca/Competitions/CMO/archive/sol2002.pdf (notice it had $0 \in \mathbb{N})$ $\endgroup$
    – Sil
    Jun 14, 2020 at 9:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Sil Thank you for the link to the official solutions! I realize that $0\in\mathbb{N}$ was allowed in the official problem statement of CMO, but I'd still like to receive an answer to the problem here. To attract more attention to this problem, I've started a bounty. $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 17, 2020 at 5:38
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    $\begingroup$ It may help to notice that without loss $f(1) = 0$. Because we can always consider $g(x) = f(x) - f(1)$. Then we see that $xg(y) + y g(x) = (x + y)g(x^2 + y^2)$, and $g$ is constant iff $f$ is. On the other hand $g(1) = 0$. This simplifies the functional equation somewhat to $f(x) = (1 + x) f(1 + x^2)$. $\endgroup$
    – Drew Brady
    Jun 25, 2020 at 6:12

6 Answers 6


Here is a partial result : I show below that $f(k)=f(1)$ for $1\leq k \leq 20$ (and I think it very likely that $f$ is indeed constant).

Let $a=f(1)$ and $A=\lbrace x\in{\mathbb N} | f(x)=a \rbrace$. We see from the functional equation that if any two of $x,y,x^2+y^2$ are in $A$, then the third is in $A$ also. In particular :

Rule $R_1$ : if $x,y\in A$, then $x^2+y^2\in A$. Rule $R_2$ : if $x,y,z\in A$, then $\sqrt{x^2+y^2-z^2} \in A$ (assuming this is an integer).

Since $2=1^2+1^2$, $5=1^2+2^2$, $8=2^2+2^2$, $50=5^2+5^2$, we have by rule $R_1$ that $\lbrace 1,2,5,8,50 \rbrace \subseteq A$. Since $7=\sqrt{5^2+5^2-1^2}$, $4=\sqrt{1^2+8^2-7^2}$, $17=1^2+4^2$, $20=2^2+4^2$ we deduce

$$\lbrace 1,2,4,5,7,8,17,20,50 \rbrace \subseteq A \tag{1}$$

Next, we have $f(10)=f(1^2+3^2)=\frac{3a+f(3)}{4}$ and $f(13)=\frac{3a+2f(3)}{5}$. From $2^2+11^2=5^2+10^2$, we deduce $\frac{2f(11)+11a}{13}=\frac{5f(10)+10a}{15}=\frac{f(10)+2a}{3}=\frac{f(3)+11a}{12}$. Similarly, from $7^2+11^2=1^2+13^2$, we deduce $\frac{7f(11)+11a}{18}=\frac{f(13)+13a}{14}=\frac{f(3)+34a}{35}$. We then have a Cramer $2\times 2$ system in $f(3)$ and $f(11)$ (and parameter $a$), so $f(3)=f(11)=a$. Therefore :

$$\lbrace 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,10,11,13,17,20,50 \rbrace \subseteq A \tag{2}$$

Then, from $9=\sqrt{3^2+11^2-7^2}$, $12=\sqrt{8^2+9^2-1^2}$, $18=3^2+3^2$, $6=\sqrt{2^2+9^2-7^2}$, we further deduce

$$[|1..13|]\cup\lbrace 17,18,20,50 \rbrace \subseteq A \tag{3}$$

Finally, from $14=\sqrt{10^2+10^2-2^2}$, $15=\sqrt{9^2+13^2-5^2}$, $16=\sqrt{8^2+14^2-2^2}$, $19=\sqrt{13^2+14^2-2^2}$, we obtain $[|1..20|] \subseteq A$ as announced.

  • $\begingroup$ I can understand your reasoning .It remenbers me phytagorean triplet no ? (+1) $\endgroup$
    – Erik Satie
    Jun 17, 2020 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the nice answer! I've awarded the bounty to this answer. I hope that someone will be able to extend your argument in some way. $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 24, 2020 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps the argument given by the user erdosovic does the job already (at the moment, there seem to be lose ends according to the user erdosovic). $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 24, 2020 at 4:21

We show that for any $N \ge 15$, there are $a,b,c \le N$ such that $N+1 = \sqrt{a^2+b^2-c^2}$. By Ewan Delanoy's answer, this suffices. For $N \equiv 0,1,2 \pmod{3}$, we can take $(a,b,c) = (N-1,\frac{N+9}{3},\frac{N-9}{3}),(N, \frac{N+5}{3}, \frac{N-4}{3}), (N-2, \frac{N+13}{3}, \frac{N-14}{3})$, respectively.

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    $\begingroup$ @Prism here is where I first learned about the circle method. that might be enough for you for this question to be honest. I should note that the case of squares is easier than higher powers, since we have good knowledge about Gauss sums $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2020 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Prism ok, it's easier than I thought lol. see my updated answer. it's complete $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2020 at 1:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Prism Yea. You want $(N+1)^2 = a^2+b^2-c^2$. Let's first try $a = N$. Then you want $2N+1 = b^2-c^2 = (b-c)(b+c)$. So you're basically fine as long as $2N+1$ isn't prime. In particular, if $3 \mid 2N+1$, say $2N+1 = 3k$, then you can try $b+c = k$ and $b-c = 3$. Solving gives $b = \frac{k+3}{2}, c = \frac{k-3}{2}$. Note that $k = \frac{2N+1}{3}$ is obviously odd, so $b,c$ are indeed positive integers (and they are easily seen to be $\le N$). Do the similar thing for $N \equiv 0,2 \pmod{3}$, by choosing $a$ correctly (i.e. either $N-1$ or $N-2$). $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2020 at 1:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Prism And the reason why this was so easy to construct was conveyed in the previous version of my answer, i.e. the squares $S$ have size $\sqrt{N}$, so $S+S-S$ is very, very large. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2020 at 1:51
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! Sorry to keep asking more questions, but how do you figure out whether or not there are modular obstructions? Let's make the cubes problem easier by saying that we want to know whether $S+S+S-S$ is big enough. Using the trivial bound would produce $N^{4/3}$. So if there are no modular obstructions, this should definitely cover everything, but how could we check if there were any obstructions? Thank you for your time! $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 27, 2020 at 2:08

Moving forward with the solution idea by @Evan Delanoy, I will provide an algorithm which could lead to any number in $\mathbb{N}$ being in the set $A$. Suppose the required number is $x$.


A = {1..20}  
while x is not in A:
    S = A
    for each pair (a, b) in A x A:
        S = S U {a^2 + b^2}
    for each triple (a, b, c) in A x A x A:
        if a^2 + b^2 - c^2 = d^2 where d is a positive integer:
            S = S U {d}
    A = S

We now show that this terminates.

Suppose that after the $i^\mathrm{th}$ iteration, all positive integers not exceeding $n$ are in the set $A$. We proceed to use the next few iterations to force all numbers less than or equal to $3n/2$ to lie in $A$.

The first loop gives us all positive integers less not exceeding $n^2$ which can be represented as the sum of 2 positive squares. To characterize these, let $W$ be the integers not exceeding $n^2$ in whose prime factorization, the exponent of any prime which is 3 mod 4 is even, (call such primes bad primes). Then the complement of the required set wrt $W$ is the set of numbers not exceeding $n^2$ which are perfect squares but can not be represented as a sum of 2 positive squares. For this to hold true, their square root, say $r$, is not a part of a Pythagorean triplet which is composed entirely of positive integers. We claim that a necessary and sufficient condition for such $r$ is to not have any prime factor congruent to 1 mod 4, which can be seen by applying theorem 4.4 here.

Now we try to construct numbers between $n$ and $3n/2$ in which the powers of bad primes are allowed to be odd, as well as those which are perfect squares of numbers divisible only by 2 and/or bad primes.

We give a proof using induction.

Firstly consider the case of the number not being a power of $2$.

Suppose the number is $x$, and $x = vp$, where $p$ is the product of all the bad primes which divide $x$ and have an odd exponent in the prime factorization, and $v$ is divisible by at least one prime congruent to 1 mod 4. Then $v^2p^2 + v^2 = (p^2 + 1)(a^2 + b^2) = (pb - a)^2 + (a + pb)^2$ (where $(a, b)$ satisfies $a < b$, $a^2 + b^2 = v$) implies that $vp$ is in $S$, since $v, pb - a, pa + b$ are all less than $vp$.

Now suppose the number is divisible by no prime which is 1 mod 4. This part still needs work. Note that using the proof for the two cases below, we can exhaust the cases where x is $(\mathrm{product \,of \,bad \,primes})^2 2^\alpha$ and $\alpha > 2$.

Now suppose that the number (say $x$) is a power of $2$. If the exponent of $2$ in it is odd, then we are done by using a trivial split into equal parts. So assume that $x = 2^{2k}$. Then we have $x^2 + 2^2 = 2^2(4^{2k-1} + 1)$. Now for the second factor on the right, we know that it is a sum of two squares (namely $1$ and $4^{2k-1}$), and since $5$ divides the whole thing, and $5 \equiv 1 \pmod 4$, $(4^{2k-1} + 1)/5$ should admit a sum of squares representation with 2 positive squares (else it is a power of 2 multiplied by, possibly 0, bad primes, however since -1 is a quadratic nonresidue modulo these primes, it needs to be a power of 2, which is impossible by parity reasons if the power of 2 is > 1 and size reasons if it is 1). So we have for some positive integers $a < b$, $4^{2k} + 4 = 20(a^2 + b^2) = (4b - 2a)^2 + (4a + 2b)^2$. For showing that both $j = 4b - 2a$, $k = 4a + 2b$ do not exceed $2^{2k}$, we can do the following. Suppose one of them (wlog $j$) did exceed $2^{2k}$. Then since $j \ge 2^{2k} + 1$, $j^2 \ge 4^{2k} + 2 \cdot 2^{2k} + 1 > 4^{2k} + 4$, which is a contradiction. So since by the end of the this iteration, we would have $4b - 2a$ and $4a + 2b$ both in our set $A$, the next iteration would allow us to include $2^{2k}$ in our set as well, which completes the proof.

Note: this is still not complete.

  • $\begingroup$ This is an excellent idea. Thank you so much! Could you perhaps run your algorithm (say, up to the point where we can guarantee that {1, 2, ...., 50} is in A) and show us the results? $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 24, 2020 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ I ran the algorithm for about a small number of iterations (too many iterations don't work on my computer, as the algorithm blows up superexponentially), and was able to show that all integers {1..639} is in A. As far as the code is concerned, here it is: ideone.com/dEJ4EI I still have some concerns about bad primes not being accounted for, though. $\endgroup$
    – erdosovic
    Jun 25, 2020 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @erdosovic You don't need to worry about bad primes. See my answer below. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2020 at 8:22

This is really just harvesting on the work and ideas of @Evan_Delanoy and @mathworker to whom the credit goes. But here is a more 'compact' finishing argument. We have the identities for all $N$: $$ (2N+2)^2-(2N-2)^2 = (N+4)^2 - (N-4)^2$$ $$ (2N+1)^2 - (2N-1)^2 = (N+2)^2 - (N-2)^2 $$ Without repeating the previous arguments, these two identities ensure that as soon as we know that $\{1,...,10\}\in A$ then $A={\Bbb N}$.

  • $\begingroup$ Very useful addition to the post. Thank you a lot! $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jul 1, 2020 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ $+1$, gorgeous! $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 8:50

Let $I=[a,a+\varepsilon]$ be an arbitrary small interval with $a>1,\varepsilon>0$. Assume that on this interval the function $f(x)$ is concave.Furthermore we assume that $f(x)$ is continuous and have a bounded first derivative ( Lipschitz continuous) on $(1,\infty)$.

Then for $x,y\in I$ with $x\neq y$ we have :

$$(x+y)f(x^2+y^2)=xf(y)+f(x)y\leq (x+y)f\Big(\frac{2xy}{x+y}\Big)$$

As the equality case is for $x=y$ we have :

There exists a variable $\alpha$ such that : $$ (x+y)f\Big(\frac{2xy}{x+y}\Big)-(xf(y)+f(x)y)\leq \alpha\quad (1)$$ With $\alpha \to 0$ when $\varepsilon \to 0$

As the function $f(x)$ have a bounded first derivative and by the MVT on $(1,\infty)$ :


But by equality's OP and Jensen's inequality $\forall x,y\in I\quad f(x^2+y^2)\neq f\Big(\frac{2xy}{x+y}\Big)$

And it's not hard to show that : $$\forall x,y\in I \quad x^2+y^2>\frac{2xy}{x+y}$$

So $|f'(c)|\to k>0$ when $x\to y$

So when $x\to y$ we have :

$$C'>(x+y)|(f(x^2+y^2)-f\Big(\frac{2xy}{x+y}\Big))|>C>0\quad (2)$$ Where $C,C'$ are constant .

So we have with $(1)$ a non-bounded inequality and with $(2)$ a bounded inequality so as :


We get clearly a contradiction . The same job can be done with $f(x)$ but now assuming that it is convex .

So we deduce that the function is not concave or convex on $I$ so $f(x)$ doesn't exists as it's continuous and even Lipschitz continuous on $(1,\infty)$.This reasoning works on an infinitely of interval $I$. The only possiblity is $x=y$ on $I$ and it's easier to solve than the initial problem.

Hope it helps !!!

  • $\begingroup$ @Prism feel free to make any suggestions or correct me .Good day . $\endgroup$
    – Erik Satie
    Jun 28, 2020 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. My main confusion is that $f:\mathbb{Z}^{+}\to \mathbb{R}$ in the problem statement, while your answer seems to consider extending the source of the function to $\mathbb{R}$ or maybe to some interval $I$. Just because such an extension with those properties (continuous, Lipschitz) doesn't exist, why does it give us the desired conclusion? For example, you wrote "we deduce that the function is not cocave or convex on $I$", but the original function was not actually defined on the interval $I$; it was only defined at the points of $\matbb{Z}^{+}$. $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jun 28, 2020 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ Yes you're perfectly right ! I just prove that there are no closed interval where the function exists . There is just intersection at some points .I think we can adapt the reasoning for this case and study the problem wich is splitted in two other functional equality/inequality . As we have an equality with Jensen's inequality ($x=y$ )maybe we can find a function satisfying the other functional equality/inequality or builds it .Finally this functional equality/inequality is easier than the original one .I continue to think about...Thanks for your interesting problem ! Good day . $\endgroup$
    – Erik Satie
    Jul 2, 2020 at 8:20

The function $f:\textbf{N}\rightarrow\textbf{R}$ satisfies $$ xf(y)+y f(x)=(x+y)f\left(x^2+y^2\right).\tag 1 $$ Then

$$ \left|f\left(x^2+y^2\right)\right| \cdot\left|x+y\right|=\left|xf(y)+yf(x)\right|\leq\sqrt{x^2+y^2}\sqrt{f(x)^2+f(y)^2}\Rightarrow $$ $$ \left|f\left(x^2+y^2\right)\right|\leq\frac{\sqrt{x^2+y^2}}{\left|x+y\right|}\sqrt{f(x)^2+f(y)^2} $$ But if $x,y\in\textbf{N}$, then $$ \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\leq\frac{\sqrt{x^2+y^2}}{\left|x+y\right|}< 1\tag 2 $$ That is because $$ \sqrt{x^2+y^2}\geq \frac{|x+y|}{\sqrt{2}}\Leftrightarrow 2x^2+2y^2\geq x^2+y^2+2 xy\Leftrightarrow (x-y)^2\geq 0. $$ and $$ \frac{\sqrt{x^2+y^2}}{\left|x+y\right|}\leq \sqrt{1-\frac{2}{(x+y)^2}}\Leftrightarrow x^2+y^2+2\leq (x+y)^2\Leftrightarrow $$ $$ x^2+y^2+2\leq x^2+y^2+2x y\Leftrightarrow 2 x y\geq 2. $$ Hence $$ f\left(x^2+y^2\right)^2\leq f(x)^2+f(y)^2\tag 3 $$ One can easily see, that if $f$ satisfies (1), then the function $g(x)=f(x)-k$ satisfies also (1) and (3).

STEP 1. Assume that exists $x_0\in\textbf{N}:f(x)\geq f(x_0)$, for all $n\in\textbf{N}$. Set $g_1(x):=f(x)-f(x_0)$. Assume also the sets $$ A_0=\{x\in\textbf{N}:g_1(x)=0\}, $$ $$ A_1=\{x\in\textbf{N}:g_1(x)=m_1\}, $$ $$ A_2=\{x\in\textbf{N}:g_1(x)=m_2\}, $$ $$ \ldots $$ These sets are such that $0<m_1<m_2<\ldots$. Now if $x_1=\xi_i^2+x_0^2$, then we have
$$ 0\leq g_1(x_1)^2=g_1\left(\xi_1^2+x_0^2\right)^2\leq g_1(\xi_1)^2+g_1(x_0)^2=g_1(\xi_1)^2=m_1^2. $$ Hence $0\leq |g_1(x_1)|\leq m_1$ and (from $g_1(x)\geq 0$) $x_1$ belongs to $A_0\cup A_1$. Hence $g_1(x_1)=0$ or $|g_1(x_1)|=m_1$. But form (1) we have either $$ 0=g_1(x_1)\cdot (\xi_1+x_0)=g_1\left(\xi_1^2+x_0^2\right)(\xi_1+x_0)=\xi_1g_1(x_0)+x_0g_1(\xi_1)= $$ $$ =x_0g_1(\xi_1)=x_0\cdot m_1\Leftrightarrow x_0=0 $$ or else (in the case $g_1(x_1)=m_1$), then $$ m_1(\xi_1+x_0)=g_1(x_1)\cdot (\xi_1+x_0)=g_1\left(\xi_1^2+x_0^2\right)(\xi_1+x_0)= $$ $$ =\xi_1g_1(x_0)+x_0g_1(\xi_1) =x_0g_1(\xi_1)=x_0m_1\Leftrightarrow \xi_1+x_0=x_0\Leftrightarrow \xi_1=0. $$ Which both are not true since $x_0,\xi_1\in\textbf{N}$. Hence there not exists $x_0$ such that $f(x)\geq f(x_0)$.

STEP 2. If $f(x)$ posses a maximum value, then exists $x_0\in\textbf{N}$ such that $f(x)\leq f(x_0)$, for all $x\in\textbf{N}$. Hence if we assume the function $g_2(x):=f(x)-f(x_0)$, then $g_2(x)\leq 0$, for all $x\in\textrm{N}$. Assume the sets $C_0,C_1,C_3\ldots$, such that $$ C_0=\{x\in\textbf{N}:g_2(x)=0\} $$ $$ C_1=\{x\in\textbf{N}:g_2(x)=k_1\} $$ $$ C_2=\{x\in\textbf{N}:g_2(x)=k_2\} $$ $$ \ldots, $$ with $0>k_1>k_2>\ldots$. Assume that $x_0\in C_0$ and $\xi_1\in C_1$, then for $x_1=\xi_1^2+x_0^2$, we have $$ |g_2(x_1)|^2=|g_2(\xi^2_1+x_0^2)|^2\leq g_2(\xi_1)^2+g_2(x_0)^2=g_2(\xi_1)^2=k_1^2. $$ Hence (since $g_2(x)\leq 0$) we have $|g_2(\xi^2_1+x_0^2)|\leq |k_1|\Leftrightarrow 0 \geq g_2(\xi^2_1+x_0^2)\geq k_1$. Hence $x_1\in C_0$ or $x_1\in C_1$.

  1. If $x_1\in C_0$, then $g_2(x_1)=0$, then $$ 0=g_2(\xi^2_1+x_0^2)(\xi_1+x_0)=x_0g_2(\xi_1)+\xi_1g_2(x_0)=x_0g_2(\xi_1)=x_0k_1. $$ Contradiction

  2. If $x_1\in C_1$, then $g_2(x_1)=k_1$, then $$ g_2(\xi_1^2+x_0^2)(\xi_1+x_0)=g_2(x_1)(\xi_1+x_0)=k_1(\xi_1+x_0) $$ $$ g_2(\xi_1^2+x_0^2)(\xi_1+x_0)=g_2(\xi_1)x_0+g_2(x_0)\xi_1=g_2(\xi_1)x_0=k_1 x_0 $$ Hence $$ k_1(\xi_1+x_0)=k_1x_0\Leftrightarrow \xi_1=0 $$

Hence $f(x):\textbf{N}\rightarrow\textbf{R}$ does not take maximum or minimum values.

Also for every sequuence $b_n$ such that $b_n\in\textbf{N}$ and $\lim b_n=+\infty$, we have $\lim f(b_n)=l<\infty$, or $\lim f(b_n)=+\infty$, or $\lim f(b_n)=-\infty$, or the limit of $b_n$ does not exists. Set also $a_n=f(b_n)$. Also we define $b_n$ to be such that $b_{n+1}=b_n^2+1$. Setting $x=b_n$ and $y=1$ in (1), we get: $b_nf(1)+f(b_n)=(b_n+1)f(b_n^2+1)$. Hence
$$ b_nc_0+a_n=(b_n+1)f(b_{n+1})\Leftrightarrow b_nc_0+a_n=(b_n+1)a_{n+1}\Leftrightarrow $$
$$b_n(a_{n+1}-c_0)+a_{n+1}-c_0=a_n-c_0\Leftrightarrow \lambda_{n+1}b_n+\lambda_{n+1}=\lambda_n,$$ where $\lambda_n=a_n-c_0$. Hence$$\lambda_{n+1}=\frac{1}{b_n+1}\lambda_n.$$Hence $$\lambda_n=\lambda_1\prod^{n-1}_{j=1}\frac{1}{1+b_j}\Leftrightarrow a_n-c_0=\lambda_1\prod^{n-1}_{j=1}\frac{1}{1+b_j}.$$But $\lim b_n=+\infty$. Hence $\lim a_n=f(1)<\infty$. This last is imposible since $f(x)$ takes no maximum or minimum values.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think everything might be correct except for the last $6$ words. The function $f(n) = n*\sin(n)$ is not constant but doesn't achieve a maximum or a minimum. $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ In what domain? $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ fine, if you want to include $n=0$, you can do $f(n) = (-1)^n*n$ (domain is $\{0,1,2,\dots,\}$). $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 5:11
  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting approach. I am giving (+1) for the cool inequality labelled with (3). I would also like to see some clarification for the last line of the argument. $\endgroup$
    – Prism
    Jul 1, 2020 at 6:43
  • $\begingroup$ @NikosBagis can u delete ur answer plz $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 17:28

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