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# HKCWCC

## Advanced Level Pure Maths. / Inequalities.

INEQUALITIES
1.

A brief revision
It is defined that all positive numbers are greater than zero and all negative numbers are less than zero, and
that for any real numbers a and b.
(i)

(ii)

## The symbol a b denotes that a > b or a = b, and a b denotes that a < b or a = b.

The following are fundamental properties of inequalities:
(1)

Law of trichotomy
For any two real numbers a and b, one and only one of the following must hold,
a>b

(2)

or

a<b

or

a=b

Law of transitivity
If a > b and b > c then a > c.

2.

(3)

(4)

(5)

> bc if c > 0
If a > b then ac
< bc if c < 0.

(6)

(7)

>
a
If a > b then
c
<

b
c
b
c

if c > 0
if c < 0 .

(8)

(9)

## If a > b and a, b are of the same sign, then

1 1
< .
a b

(10)

a
a
> 0 if and only if ab > 0, and < 0 if and only if ab < 0.
b
b

(11)

a
a
0 if and only if ab 0 and b 0, and 0 if and only if ab 0 and b 0.
b
b

## The inequality of the means

Definition 2.1

Given any n positive numbers a 1, a 2, , a n , the Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic mean are
defined as follows:
Arithmetic Mean (A.M.) =

a1 + a 2 + ... + a n
n

## Geometric Mean (G.M.) = n a1 a 2 ... a n

Harmonic Mean (H.M.) =

n
1
1
1
+
+ ... +
a1 a 2
an
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Theorem 2.1

## Given any n positive numbers a 1, a 2, , a n , the A.M. G.M. H.M.

Therefore

a1 + a 2 + ... + a n
n

n a1 a 2 ... a n

n
1
1
1
+
+ ... +
a1 a 2
an

## The equality holds if and only if a 1 = a 2 = ... = a n

For details, refer to textbook p.214, 215.

3.
Theorem 3.1

## Some well-known inequalities.

Cauchy-Schwarzs Inequality
Let a 1, a 2, , a n and b 1, b 2, b n be real numbers
n
n
n

a 2k b k2
ak bk
k =1 k =1 k =1

a
a1 a 2
=
= ... = n .
b1 b2
bn

## For details, refer to textbook p.222, 223.

Theorem 3.2

Tchebychef s Inequality
If a 1, a 2, , a n and b 1, b 2, b n are two sets of real numbers, arranged in descending order of magnitude,
i.e.

a 1 a 2 ... a n

n
n

a i
bi

i
=
1
i
=
1

n n

then

Theorem 3.3

and b1 b 2 ... b n ,

a i bi

i
=
1

Holders Inequality
In 1889, Otto Holder generalized the Cauchy Inequality to obtain the celebrated Holder s Inequality.
Young s Inequality: If a, b be positive numbers and p, q be non-zero positive rational numbers such
that

1 1
a p bq
+ = 1 , then ab
+
p q
p
q

Holders Inequality: If {x1, x2, , xn}, {y1 , y2, , yn} be two sets of positive numbers and p, q be nonzero positive rational numbers such that

1 1
+ = 1 , then
p q

1 n
1
p p
q q
xi yi (
xi ) (
yi )
i =1
i =1
i =1
n

Remark:

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HKCWCC

## Advanced Level Pure Maths. / Inequalities.

n

xi y i ) 2 (

i=1

yi2 )

xi2 ) (

i =1

i =1

Minkowski Inequality

Theorem 3.4

In 1896, the great geometry Hermann Minkowski proposed a famous inequality, known as
Minkowski Inequality.
Minkowski Inequality:

Suppose {x1, x2, x n} and {y1 , y2, , yn} are two sets of positive numbers

and p > 1,
1

n
p n p p n p p
( x i + yi ) p
xi +
yi

i=1

i=1

i=1

4.

## Example 4.1: (85/AL/Q9)

Let f(x) and g(x) be two functions on the interval [a , b].

## [ f ( x) + g ( x )] 2 on [a, b], set up a quadratic inequalities in the parameter .

2
b

b 2
b 2

a f ( x) g ( x) dx a f ( x) dx a g ( x) dx

(a)

Show that

(b)

Let f(x) be a non-constant function with continuous derivative [0, 1] satisfying f(0) = 0 and f(1) =0.
x

(i)

Show that

(ii)

## for any x [0, 1]

[ f ( x )]2 x 2 [ f ' ( t) ]2 dt
0

and [ f ( x )] (1 x) 1 [ f ' (t ) ] dt

(iii)

## Hence, show that

if any x [0, ]
if any x [, 1]

[ f ( x) ]2 dx 1 [ f ' ( x) ]2 dx
8 0

## Example 4.2: (86/HL/GM/Q3)

Let a and b be positive real numbers such that a + b = 1
(a)

(b)

## If 0 < x y 1 , show that x +

(c)

(i)

(ii)

Show that

1
.
4

1
1
1 17
y + .(*). By putting x = ab in (*) show that ab +

x
y
ab 4

a b
1
1
1
1
+ 2 and ( a + ) 2 + (b + ) 2 2 ( a + )( b + )
b a
a
b
a
b

1
1
25
Using the results in (b) and (c)(i), show that ( a + ) 2 + (b + ) 2
a
b
2
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(a)

1

<

(k + 1) p

k +1 1
1
dx <
p
p
k

n+ 2

k=2 k

(b)

<

n +2 1
p +
n +1

1
( x 1) p

+ ... +

n +1

1
dx <

p
p
( x n)
k =1 k

n +1

(i)

k > ln(n + 2)
1

k =1
n +1

(ii)

k p < 1+ p 1
1

when p > 1.

k =1

## Example 4.4: (86/HL/Q3)

1 2
( x + y 2 ) for any two real numbers x and y.
2

(a)

Show that xy

(b)

## Let a 1, a 2, a n and b 1, b 2, , b n be positive real numbers.

(i)

ak

If Ak =

and B k =

ai2

bk

for k = 1, 2, n .

bi2

i =1

i =1

prove that

Ak B k 1
k =1

(ii)

k =1

b1 b2
=
= ... =
a1 a 2
(c)

n
n

k =1 k =1

bn
an

Show that

tan

2
2
2
2
2
2

2
2
2

## Example 4.5: (88/HL/Q7)

x
is strictly increasing function on ( -1, ).
1+ x

(a)

Show that f ( x ) =

(b)

Show that for any non-negative real numbers x1, x2, xn.

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## Advanced Level Pure Maths. / Inequalities.

x1 + x 2 + ... + xn

1 + x1 + x 2 + ... + xn
(c)

xn
x1
x
+ 2 + ... +
1 + x1 1 + x2
1+ x n

## when does the equality hold?

Using (a) and (b) or otherwise, show that for any non-negative real numbers x1, x2 , , x n.
n

x1 x 2 ... x n
1 + x1 x2 ... x n

x kn
k =1
n

n+

k =1

(d)

x kn

n
+
x
k
xkn k =1

Using (a) and (b) or otherwise, show that for any real numbers a 1, a 2, , a n .
a1 + a 2 + ... + a n
1 + a1 + a 2 + ... + a n

a1
1 + a1

a2
1 + a2

+ ... +

an
1+ a n

## Example 4.6: (87/HL/Q3)

n

(a)

Show that

k (k + 1) = n + 1
1

k =1

n 1

(b)

Using (a) and the A.M. G.M. or otherwise, show that n! > ( n + 1) 2

(c)

Show that (

n +1 n
) > n!
2

for n > 1

for n > 1

## Example 4.7: (89/HL/Q6)

(a)

Let f ( x ) = (1 + x ) 1 x

where > 1 ,

## show that f ( x ) 0 for x 1 and the equality holds if and only if x = 0.

(b)

Let x1, x 2, x n be positive real numbers, for any positive real number t,
x t + x t + ... + x t
n
2
Define g (t ) = 1

and

yk =

xk
g (1)

(i)

## Show that y1 + y 2 + ... + y n = 0

(ii)

Hence using (a), show that g (t ) g (1) for t > 1 and equality holds if and only if
x1 = x2 = ... = xn

(c)

Hence, or otherwise, show that g (r ) g ( s) for 1 < r < s , and that the equality holds if and only if
x1 = x2 = ... = xn

(a)

(i)

## Show that e x1 x for any real number of x.

(ii)

1
Given a 1, a 2, a n > 0, let A =
n

k =1

k =1

a k and G = [ a k ]
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n

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## Advanced Level Pure Maths. / Inequalities.

a
By putting x = k , for k = 1, 2, n , in (i), show that A G.
A
(b)

## Let a 1, a 2, a n be an arithmetic sequence of positive real numbers.

(i)

1
a +an
Show that [ a 1a 2 ...a n ] n 1

(ii)

## By considering the products a k a n+k +1

Show that
(iii)

(1 k n)

a1 a n n a1 a 2 ...a n

Deduce that

n n n!

n +1
.
2

## Example 4.9: (81/I/Q7)

(a)

Let f ( x ) = x 1 ln x for all x > 0. Find the minimum value of f(x) and show that ln x x 1 for all
x > 0. For what value of x will the equality hold?

(b)

## Let x1, x 2, x n and 1, 2, n be positive numbers such that

1 x1 + 2 x 2 + ... + n x n = 1 + 2 + ... + n = 1

n
Show that x1 1 x2 2 ...x
n 1

(c)

## Prove that if a1 , a 2, a n and p 1, p 2, p n are positive numbers,

1
p 1a 1 + p 2 a 2 + ... p n a n
p1 p 2
p n p1 + p 2 +...+ p n
( a1 a 2 ...a n )

p1 + p 2 + ... p n

## Example 4.10: (85/I/5)

(a)

For any non negative number x and for any integer k > 1 , prove that
x k + k 1 kx (*)

(b)

## Let n be an integer > 1, {a1, a 2, , an} be a set of positive real numbers.

For m = 1, 2, , n, define
(i)

1
Am =
m

ai and

Gm = (

i =1

1
m
ai )

i=1

## Show that for m = 2, , n

(

Gm
G m1

)m =

mA m ( m 1) Am1
G m1

.(**)
m 1
( Am1 G m1 ) for m = 2, , n
m

(ii)

## Making use of (*) and (**), prove that Am G m

(iii)

Deduce that Am G m , and show that the equality holds if and only if a 1 = a 2 = = a n.

## Example 4.11: (86/II/8)

Let g : R R be differentiable function s.t. its derivative g(x) is increasing.
(a)

Let a and be real constants s.t. 0 < < 1. Show that the function
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## Advanced Level Pure Maths. / Inequalities.

F(x) = g (x + (1 - )a) - g(x) (1 - )g(a)

(b)

(i)

## Prove by mathematical induction, or otherwise that

g (1 x1 + 2 x 2 + ... + m x m ) 1 g ( x1 ) + 2 g ( x2 ) + ... + m g ( xm )
for any real numbers x1, x2, , x m .
By considering g ( x) = e x , or otherwise, deduce that

(ii)

m
2
a11 a
2 ...am 1 a1 + 2 a2 + ...+ m a m

## for any real numbers a 1, a 2, , a m.

Example 4.12: (87/I/5)
(a)

(b)

## Given a real number with 0 < < 1 and 0 < x 1 , then

(i)

(1 + x) < 1 + x ;

(ii)

(1 x) < 1 x .

n
n
n

n
n +1
1
n + 1 n +1
n
+
1
n
+
1

n
(
) ( k + 1)
k
<
<(
) k
( k 1) +1
1

n
n

k n +1

(c)

1
3

1
3

+ ... +

1
3

< 15000

1000000

## Example 4.13: (88/I/5)

Let a be a positive real number not equal to 1 and let p, q, r and s be four real numbers s.t. p + q = r + s and
0 < p q < r s.
(a)

(b)

(i)

(ii)

## Let u and v be two distinct positive real numbers.

Show that u p v q + u q v p < u r v s + u s v r .

(i)

(ii)

Show that

## Example 4.14: (89/I/10)

(a)

By determining the least value of the function f ( x ) = e x 1 x or otherwise, show that e x1 x for
x R.

(b)

Let {a1, a2, , an } and {b 1, b 2, , b n} are two sequences of positive numbers, show that

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n
exp (
i=1

) n
bi
i =1

bii

ai

## Hence, or otherwise, show that if

ak
n , then
bk

k =1

(c)

ak

k =1

bk
k =1

Using the result in (b), show that for any positive numbers a 1, a 2, , a n
1
n
1
[
ai ] n
ai
n
i =1
i =1
n

n

ai m 0 ,

where m =

i =1

1
n

ai .
i =1

(a)

(b)

(i)

(ii)

(i)

## Let , , , be positive numbers s.t.

1 1
+ = 1 and + = 1. By taking x = and respectively,

for p > 1.

(ii)
(c)

## Deduce that, if a, b, c, d are positive p > 1, then (

a + b p 1 p
a + b p 1 p
)
c +(
)
d (c + d ) p
a
b

Suppose {a 1, a 2, , a n } and {b 1, b 2, b n } are two sequences of positive numbers and p > 1. By considering
n

a=

i =1

1
p p
( ai )

b=

and

i =1

1
p p
(b i )

1
1
1
n
n
p p
p p
p p
prove that
( ai ) +
(b i ) [
(a i + bi ) ]
i =1
i =1
i =1
n

a1 a 2
=
= ... =
b1 b 2

an
bn

a
b

(a)

(i)

n
n
n

a k b k ]
k =1 k =1 k =1

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(ii)

b
If p k q
ak

## for k = 1, 2, , n, prove that

pqa k2 ( p + q ) a k b k + b k2 0
n

Deduce that ( p + q )

ak bk

k =1

(iii) If 0 < m a k M

for k = 1, 2, , n

k =1

b k2 + pq

a 2k .
k =1

and 0 < m b k M

for k = 1, 2, , n

n
n
1 M m 2 n

a k2 b k2
+
a k b k ]

4m M
k =1 k =1
k =1

(b)

n
n
1
1 2
1 2 169
1
( n + ) 2 < (1 +
)
(1
) <
(n + ) 2
k
k
+
1
9
3
k =1
3
k =1
3
144

## Example 4.17: (92/I/10)

Let {a 1, a 2, , a n} and {b 1, b 2, b n} be two sets of real numbers and b o = 0.
k

(a)

Show that

i =1

(b)

a i (bi bi 1 ) = a k b k +

k 1

(ai ai +1)bi .
i =1

## Suppose {a n} is decreasing and bi K for all i , where K is a constant.

k

Show that

a i (bi bi 1 ) K ( a1 + 2 ak )
i =1

(c)

n+ p

k=n

( 1) k
3

k
2n

## Example 4.18: (92/I/4)

(a)

Prove that

C kn
n

(b)

1
k!

If a 1, a 2, , a n are positive real numbers and s = a 1 + a 2 + + a n , using A.M. G.M. and (a), or otherwise,
(1 + a 1 )(1 + a 2 )...(1 + a n ) 1 + s +

prove that
n

(c)

Let C n =

s 2 s3
sn
+
+ ... +
2! 3!
n!

1

k =1

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(a)

2

n
n
n

## Prove that Schwarzs inequality a 2k b k2

a k b k ] where a k , b k R and n N.
k =1 k =1 k =1

(b)

1
n

ak

a k2
k =1

k =1

## Example 4.20: (95/I/13)

Let a and b be positive numbers.
(a)

(b)

## Using (a), or otherwise, prove that

(c)

Show that x x (1 x) 1x
Deduce that a a b b (

5.

1
2

a + b a +b
)
a b b a , where the equality holds, then a = b.
2

## for 0 < x < 1, where, if the equality holds, then x = .

a + b a +b
)
where, if the equality holds, then a = b.
2

Summary

## Main points in this chapter

1. Basic properties of inequalities:
(i)

If a > b > 0 and q is any positive rational number, then a q > b q and
b q > a q .

(ii)

If a b and c d then a +

and c = d.
(iii)

(iv)

(v)

(vi)

(vii)

2.

3.

4.

5.

A.M. G.M.:

x+y x + y .

## If x1, x2, ... ,xn are n non-negative real numbers, then

holds if and only if x1 = x 2 = ...= xn .
6.

Cauchy-Schwarz s Inequality:
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x1 + x 2 + ... + xn
n

n x1 x 2 ... x n , equality

HKCWCC

## Advanced Level Pure Maths. / Inequalities.

Let a 1, a 2, , a n and b 1, b 2, b n be real numbers
n
n
n

a 2k b k2
ak bk
k =1 k =1 k =1

7.

8.

a1 a 2
=
= ... =
b1 b2

an
bn

(i)

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

1.

## How to use backward induction to prove A. M. G.M.?

2.

What is the necessary and sufficient conditions for the quadratic polynomial ax2 + bx + c to be
positive for all real values of x?

3.

4.

## Past AL papers(since 1988)

88 (Paper I-No. 5-14 marks)
89 (Paper I-No. 2 - 5 marks; No. 10-15 marks)
89 (Paper II-No. 1-5 marks)
90 (Paper I-No. 6 5 marks; No.12 - 15 marks)
90 (Paper II No. 1 5 marks)
91 (Paper I-No. 6 7 marks; No. 8 15 marks)
92 (Paper I-No. 7 - 8 marks; No. 10 - 15 marks)
93 (Paper I- No. 1 5 marks; No. 7 6 marks),
93 (Paper II- No. 6 7 marks),
94 (Paper I- No. 4 5 marks),
95 (Paper I- No. 5 7 marks; No. 13 15 marks),
96 (Paper I-No. 4 - 5 marks)
96 (Paper II-No. 2(a), No. 7 (a))
97 (Paper I-No. 5(a), No.9 - 15 marks)
97 (Paper II-No 2-4 marks)
Hints for questions for thinking
Consider the value of a and the discriminant of ax2 + bx +c = 0.

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