Problem #2204


A sequence $(a_1,b_1)$, $(a_2,b_2)$, $(a_3,b_3)$, $\ldots$ of points in the coordinate plane satisfies

$(a_{n + 1}, b_{n + 1}) = (\sqrt {3}a_n - b_n, \sqrt {3}b_n + a_n)$ for $n = 1,2,3,\ldots$.

Suppose that $(a_{100},b_{100}) = (2,4)$. What is $a_1 + b_1$?

$\mathrm{(A)}\ -\frac{1}{2^{97}}\qquad\mathrm{(B)}\ -\frac{1}{2^{99}}\qquad\mathrm{(C)}\ 0\qquad\mathrm{(D)}\ \frac{1}{2^{98}}\qquad\mathrm{(E)}\ \frac{1}{2^{96}}$

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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