Problem #299


Given a nonnegative real number $x$, let $\langle x\rangle$ denote the fractional part of $x$; that is, $\langle x\rangle=x-\lfloor x\rfloor$, where $\lfloor x\rfloor$ denotes the greatest integer less than or equal to $x$. Suppose that $a$ is positive, $\langle a^{-1}\rangle=\langle a^2\rangle$, and $2<a^2<3$. Find the value of $a^{12}-144a^{-1}$.

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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