Problem #1347


Suppose that the number $a$ satisfies the equation $4 = a + a^{ - 1}$. What is the value of $a^{4} + a^{ - 4}$?

$\text{(A)}\ 164 \qquad \text{(B)}\ 172 \qquad \text{(C)}\ 192 \qquad \text{(D)}\ 194 \qquad \text{(E)}\ 212$

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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