# Thread: Proof on this word problem

1. ## Proof on this word problem

Hey there I need some help with this proof.

There are 2000 points on a circle, and each point is given a number that is equal to the average of its two nearest neighbors. Show that all the numbers must be equal.

I am not sure how to start this. I hope someone can guide me step by step on how to do this proof, so that I can understand this better.

2. ## Re: Proof on this word problem

Think of the sequence of numbers...what type of sequence must they be?

3. ## Re: Proof on this word problem

I'm not exactly sure what this sequence is called but this pattern is that the term your on is the average of the 2 closest neighbors, so it is the previous term plus the next term divided by 2?

Sorry if I'm way off, I take a longer time to learn than others

4. ## Re: Proof on this word problem

Let the sequence of numbers be denoted by $\displaystyle x_0,x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_{1999}$

We require:

$\displaystyle x_n=\frac{x_{n-1}+x_{n+1}}{2}$ where $\displaystyle 1\le n\le1998$ and $\displaystyle n\in\mathbb{Z}$

This results in the homogeneous recursion:

$\displaystyle x_{n+1}=2x_n-x_{n-1}$

whose characteristic equation is:

$\displaystyle (r-1)^2=0$ hence:

$\displaystyle x_n=k_1+k_2n$

and so we see we must have an arithmetic sequence. We then may write:

$\displaystyle x_0=k_1$ and so we have:

$\displaystyle x_n=x_0+k_2n$

Now, we also know we must have:

$\displaystyle x_0=\frac{x_{1999}+x_1}{2}=\frac{x_0+1999k_2+x_0+k _2}{2}$

$\displaystyle x_0=\frac{2x_0+2000k_2}{2}=x_0+1000k_2$ hence:

$\displaystyle k_2=0$ and so we have:

$\displaystyle x_n=x_0$

5. ## Re: Proof on this word problem

Thank you so much for your help, I understand this a lot better now