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# Volume 8 (2007), Issue 1, Article 15, 21 pp.

VASILE CÎRTOAJE

## D EPARTMENT OF AUTOMATION AND C OMPUTERS

U NIVERSITY OF P LOIE ŞTI
B UCURE ŞTI 39, ROMANIA
vcirtoaje@upg-ploiesti.ro

## Received 01 March, 2006; accepted 17 April, 2006

Communicated by P.S. Bullen

A BSTRACT. The Equal Variable Method (called also n − 1 Equal Variable Method on the Math-
links Site - Inequalities Forum) can be used to prove some difficult symmetric inequalities in-
volving either three power means or, more general, two power means and an expression of form
f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn ).

## 2000 Mathematics Subject Classification. 26D10, 26D20.

1. S TATEMENT OF RESULTS
In order to state and prove the Equal Variable Theorem (EV-Theorem) we require the follow-
ing lemma and proposition.
Lemma 1.1. Let a, b, c be fixed non-negative real numbers, not all equal and at most one of
them equal to zero, and let x ≤ y ≤ z be non-negative real numbers such that
x + y + z = a + b + c, x p + y p + z p = ap + b p + c p ,
where p ∈ (−∞, 0] ∪ (1, ∞). For p = 0, the second equation is xyz = abc > 0. Then, there
exist two non-negative real numbers x1 and x2 with x1 < x2 such that x ∈ [x1 , x2 ]. Moreover,
(1) if x = x1 and p ≤ 0, then 0 < x < y = z;
(2) if x = x1 and p > 1, then either 0 = x < y ≤ z or 0 < x < y = z;
(3) if x ∈ (x1 , x2 ), then x < y < z;
(4) if x = x2 , then x = y < z.
Proposition 1.2. Let a, b, c be fixed non-negative real numbers, not all equal and at most one
of them equal to zero, and let 0 ≤ x ≤ y ≤ z such that
x + y + z = a + b + c, x p + y p + z p = ap + b p + c p ,

059-06
2 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

## where p ∈ (−∞, 0] ∪ (1, ∞). For p = 0, the second equation

 1  is xyz = abc > 0. Let f (u) be a
0
differentiable function on (0, ∞), such that g(x) = f x p−1 is strictly convex on (0, ∞), and
let
F3 (x, y, z) = f (x) + f (y) + f (z).
(1) If p ≤ 0, then F3 is maximal only for 0 < x = y < z, and is minimal only for
0 < x < y = z;
(2) If p > 1 and either f (u) is continuous at u = 0 or lim f (u) = −∞, then F3 is maximal
u→0
only for 0 < x = y < z, and is minimal only for either x = 0 or 0 < x < y = z.
Theorem 1.3 (Equal Variable Theorem (EV-Theorem)). Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an (n ≥ 3) be fixed
non-negative real numbers, and let 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x 1 + x 2 + · · · + x n = a1 + a2 + · · · + an ,
xp1 + xp2 + · · · + xpn = ap1 + ap2 + · · · + apn ,
where p is a real number, p 6= 1. For p = 0, the second equation is x1 x2 · · · xn = a1 a2 · · · an >
0. Let f (u) be a differentiable function on (0, ∞) such that
 1 
g(x) = f 0 x p−1

## is strictly convex on (0, ∞), and let

Fn (x1 , x2 , . . . , xn ) = f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn ).
(1) If p ≤ 0, then Fn is maximal for 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is minimal for
0 < x 1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn ;
(2) If p > 0 and either f (u) is continuous at u = 0 or lim f (u) = −∞, then Fn is
u→0
maximal for 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is minimal for either x1 = 0 or
0 < x 1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Remark 1.4.  Let
1
0 < α < β. If the function f is differentiable on (α, β) and the function
0
g(x) = f x p−1 is strictly convex on (αp−1 , β p−1 ) or (β p−1 , αp−1 ), then the EV-Theorem
holds true for x1 , x2 , . . . , xn ∈ (α, β).
By Theorem 1.3, we easily obtain some particular results, which are very useful in applica-
tions.
Corollary 1.5. Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an (n ≥ 3) be fixed non-negative numbers, and let 0 ≤ x1 ≤
x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x 1 + x 2 + · · · + x n = a1 + a2 + · · · + an ,
x21 + x22 + · · · + x2n = a21 + a22 + · · · + a2n .
Let f be a differentiable function on (0, ∞) such that g(x) = f 0 (x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞).
Moreover, either f (x) is continuous at x = 0 or lim f (x) = −∞. Then,
x→0

## Fn = f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn )

is maximal for 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is minimal for either x1 = 0 or
0 < x 1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 3

## Corollary 1.6. Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an (n ≥ 3) be fixed positive numbers, and let 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤

· · · ≤ xn such that
x 1 + x 2 + · · · + x n = a1 + a2 + · · · + an ,
1 1 1 1 1 1
+ + ··· + = + + ··· + .
x1 x2 xn a1 a2 an
 
0 √1
Let f be a differentiable function on (0, ∞) such that g(x) = f x
is strictly convex on
(0, ∞). Then,
Fn = f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn )
is maximal for 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is minimal for 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · =
xn .
Corollary 1.7. Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an (n ≥ 3) be fixed positive numbers, and let 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤
· · · ≤ xn such that
x 1 + x 2 + · · · + x n = a1 + a2 + · · · + an ,
x 1 x 2 · · · x n = a1 a1 · · · an .
Let f be a differentiable function on (0, ∞) such that g(x) = f 0 x1 is strictly convex on (0, ∞).

Then,
Fn = f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn )
is maximal for 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is minimal for 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · =
xn .
Corollary 1.8. Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an (n ≥ 3) be fixed non-negative numbers, and let 0 ≤ x1 ≤
x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = a1 + a2 + · · · + an ,
xp1 + xp2 + · · · + xpn = ap1 + ap2 + · · · + apn ,
where p is a real number, p 6= 0 and p 6= 1.
(a) For p < 0, P = x1 x2 · · · xn is minimal when 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
maximal when 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
(b) For p > 0, P = x1 x2 · · · xn is maximal when 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
minimal when either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Corollary 1.9. Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an (n ≥ 3) be fixed non-negative numbers, let 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤
· · · ≤ xn such that
x 1 + x 2 + · · · + x n = a1 + a2 + · · · + an ,
xp1 + xp2 + · · · + xpn = ap1 + ap2 + · · · + apn ,
and let E = xq1 + xq2 + · · · + xqn .
Case 1. p ≤ 0 (p = 0 yields x1 x2 · · · xn = a1 a2 · · · an > 0).
(a) For q ∈ (p, 0) ∪ (1, ∞), E is maximal when 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
minimal when 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
(b) For q ∈ (−∞, p) ∪ (0, 1), E is minimal when 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
maximal when 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Case 2. 0 < p < 1.
(a) For q ∈ (0, p) ∪ (1, ∞), E is maximal when 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
minimal when either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
4 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

## (b) For q ∈ (−∞, 0) ∪ (p, 1), E is minimal when 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is

maximal when either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Case 3. p > 1.
(a) For q ∈ (0, 1) ∪ (p, ∞), E is maximal when 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
minimal when either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
(b) For q ∈ (−∞, 0) ∪ (1, p), E is minimal when 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , and is
maximal when either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .

2. P ROOFS
Proof of Lemma 1.1. Let a ≤ b ≤ c. Note that in the excluded cases a = b = c and a = b = 0,
there is a single triple (x, y, z) which verifies the conditions
x+y+z =a+b+c and x p + y p + z p = ap + b p + c p .
Consider now three cases: p = 0, p < 0 and p > 1.

A. Case p = 0 (xyz = abc > 0). Let S = a+b+c
3
and P = 3
abc, where S > P > 0 by AM-GM
Inequality. We have
x + y + z = 3S, xyz = P 3 ,
and from 0 < x ≤ y ≤ z and x < z, it follows that 0 < x < P . Now let

f = y + z − 2 yz.
It is clear that f ≥ 0, with equality if and only if y = z. Writing f as a function of x,
r
P
f (x) = 3S − x − 2P ,
x
we have r
0 P P
f (x) = − 1 > 0,
x x
and hence the function f (x) is strictly increasing. Since f (P ) = 3(S − P ) > 0, the equation
f (x) = 0 has a unique positive root x1 , 0 < x1 < P . From f (x) ≥ 0, it follows that x ≥ x1 .
Sub-case x = x1 . Since f (x) = f (x1 ) = 0 and f = 0 implies y = z, we have 0 < x < y = z.
Sub-case x > x1 . We have f (x) > 0 and y < z. Consider now that y and z depend on x. From
0 0
x + y(x) + z(x) = 3S and x · y(x) · z(x) = P 3 , we get 1 + y 0 + z 0 = 0 and x1 + yy + zz = 0.
Hence,
y(x − z) z(y − x)
y 0 (x) = , z 0 (x) = .
x(z − y) x(z − y)
Since y 0 (x) < 0, the function y(x) is strictly decreasing. Since y(x1 ) > x1 (see sub-case
x = x1 ), there exists x2 > x1 such that y(x2 ) = x2 , y(x) > x for x1 < x < x2 and y(x) < x
for x > x2 . Taking into account that y ≥ x, it follows that x1 < x ≤ x2 . On the other hand, we
see that z 0 (x) > 0 for x1 < x < x2 . Consequently, the function z(x) is strictly increasing, and
hence z(x) > z(x1 ) = y(x1 ) > y(x). Finally, we conclude that x < y < z for x ∈ (x1 , x2 ),
and x = y < z for x = x2 .
p p p 1
B. Case p < 0. Denote S = a+b+c 3
and R = a +b3 +c p . Taking into account that
x + y + z = 3S, xp + y p + z p = 3Rp ,

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 5

1
from 0 < x ≤ y ≤ z and x < z we get x < S and 3 p R < x < R. Let
 p  −1
y + zp p
h = (y + z) − 2.
2
By the AM-GM Inequality, we have
√ 1
h ≥ 2 yz √ − 2 = 0,
yz
with equality if and only if y = z. Writing now h as a function of x,
 p  −1
3R − xp p
h(x) = (3S − x) − 2,
2
from
 −1−p "   
−p
#
3Rp 3Rp − xp
 p S R
h0 (x) = −1 >0
2 2x x
 1 
it follows that h(x) is strictly increasing. Since h(x) ≥ 0 and h 3 p R = −2, the equation
1
h(x) = 0 has a unique root x1 and x ≥ x1 > 3 p R.
Sub-case x = x1 . Since f (x) = f (x1 ) = 0, and f = 0 implies y = z, we have 0 < x < y = z.
Sub-case x > x1 . We have h(x) > 0 and y < z. Consider now that y and z depend on x.
From x + y(x) + z(x) = 3S and xp + y(x)p + z(x)p = 3Rp , we get 1 + y 0 + z 0 = 0 and
xp−1 + y p−1 y 0 + z p−1 z 0 = 0, and hence
xp−1 − z p−1 xp−1 − y p−1
y 0 (x) = , z 0 (x) = .
z p−1 − y p−1 y p−1 − z p−1
Since y 0 (x) > 0, the function y(x) is strictly decreasing. Since y(x1 ) > x1 (see sub-case
x = x1 ), there exists x2 > x1 such that y(x2 ) = x2 , y(x) > x for x1 < x < x2 , and y(x) < x for
x > x2 . The condition y ≥ x yields x1 < x ≤ x2 . We see now that z 0 (x) > 0 for x1 < x < x2 .
Consequently, the function z(x) is strictly increasing, and hence z(x) > z(x1 ) = y(x1 ) > y(x).
Finally, we have x < y < z for x ∈ (x1 , x2 ) and x = y < z for x = x2 .
p p p 1
C. Case p > 1. Denoting S = a+b+c 3
and R = a +b3 +c p yields
x + y + z = 3S, xp + y p + z p = 3Rp .
By Jensen’s inequality applied to the convex function g(u) = up , we have R > S, and hence
x < S < R. Let
 p 1
2 y + zp p
h= − 1.
y+z 2
By Jensen’s Inequality, we get h ≥ 0, with equality if only if y = z. From
 p 1
2 3R − xp p
h(x) = −1
3S − x 2
and
 p  1−p
0 3 3R − xp p
h (x) = (Rp − Sxp−1 ) > 0,
(3S − x)2 2
it follows that the function h(x) is strictly increasing, and h(x) ≥ 0 implies x ≥ x1 . In the case
h(0) ≥ 0 we have x1 = 0, and in the case h(0) < 0 we have x1 > 0 and h(x1 ) = 0.

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
6 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

Sub-case x = x1 . If h(0) ≥ 0, then 0 = x1 < y(x1 ) ≤ z(x1 ). If h(0) < 0, then h(x1 ) = 0, and
since h = 0 implies y = z, we have 0 < x1 < y(x1 ) = z(x1 ).
Sub-case x > x1 . Since h(x) is strictly increasing, for x > x1 we have h(x) > h(x1 ) ≥ 0,
hence h(x) > 0 and y < z. From x + y(x) + z(x) = 3S and xp + y p (x) + z p (x) = 3Rp , we get
xp−1 − z p−1 y p−1 − xp−1
y 0 (x) = , z 0 (x) = .
z p−1 − y p−1 z p−1 − y p−1
Since y 0 (x) < 0, the function y(x) is strictly decreasing. Taking account of y(x1 ) > x1 (see
sub-case x = x1 ), there exists x2 > x1 such that y(x2 ) = x2 , y(x) > x for x1 < x < x2 ,
and y(x) < x for x > x2 . The condition y ≥ x implies x1 < x ≤ x2 . We see now that
z 0 (x) > 0 for x1 < x < x2 . Consequently, the function z(x) is strictly increasing, and hence
z(x) > z(x1 ) ≥ y(x1 ) > y(x). Finally, we conclude that x < y < z for x ∈ (x1 , x2 ), and
x = y < z for x = x2 . 
Proof of Proposition 1.2. Consider the function
F (x) = f (x) + f (y(x)) + f (z(x))
defined on x ∈ [x1 , x2 ]. We claim that F (x) is minimal for x = x1 and is maximal for x = x2 .
If this assertion is true, then by Lemma 1.1 it follows that:
(a) F (x) is minimal for 0 < x = y < z in the case p ≤ 0, or for either x = 0 or
0 < x < y = z in the case p > 1;
(b) F (x) is maximal for 0 < x = y < z.
In order to prove the claim, assume that x ∈ (x1 , x2 ). By Lemma 1.1, we have 0 < x < y <
z. From
x + y(x) + z(x) = a + b + c and
p p p p p p
x + y (x) + z (x) = a + b + c ,
we get
y 0 + z 0 = −1, y p−1 y 0 + z p−1 z 0 = −xp−1 ,
whence
xp−1 − z p−1 xp−1 − y p−1
y0 = , z 0
= .
z p−1 − y p−1 y p−1 − z p−1
It is easy to check that this result is also valid for p = 0. We have
F 0 (x) = f 0 (x) + y 0 f 0 (y) + z 0 f 0 (z)
and
F 0 (x)
(xp−1 − y p−1 )(xp−1 − z p−1 )
g(xp−1 ) g(y p−1 )
= p−1 +
(x − y p−1 )(xp−1 − z p−1 ) (y p−1 − z p−1 )(y p−1 − xp−1 )
g(z p−1 )
+ p−1 .
(z − xp−1 )(z p−1 − y p−1 )
Since g is strictly convex, the right hand side is positive. On the other hand,
(xp−1 − y p−1 )(xp−1 − z p−1 ) > 0.
These results imply F 0 (x) > 0. Consequently, the function F (x) is strictly increasing for
x ∈ (x1 , x2 ). Excepting the trivial case when p > 1, x1 = 0 and lim f (u) = −∞, the function
u→0

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 7

F (x) is continuous on [x1 , x2 ], and hence is minimal only for x = x1 , and is maximal only for
x = x2 . 
Proof of Theorem 1.3. We will consider two cases.
Case p ∈ (−∞, 0]∪(1, ∞). Excepting the trivial case when p > 1, x1 = 0 and lim f (u) = −∞,
u→0
the function Fn (x1 , x2 , . . . , xn ) attains its minimum and maximum values, and the conclusion
follows from Proposition 1.2 above, via contradiction. For example, let us consider the case p ≤
0. In order to prove that Fn is maximal for 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn , we assume, for the
sake of contradiction, that Fn attains its maximum at (b1 , b2 , . . . , bn ) with b1 ≤ b2 ≤ · · · ≤ bn
and b1 < bn−1 . Let x1 , xn−1 , xn be positive numbers such that x1 + xn−1 + xn = b1 + bn−1 + bn
and xp1 + xpn−1 + xpn = bp1 + bpn−1 + bpn . According to Proposition 1.2, the expression
F3 (x1 , xn−1 , xn ) = f (x1 ) + f (xn−1 ) + f (xn )
is maximal only for x1 = xn−1 < xn , which contradicts the assumption that Fn attains its
maximum at (b1 , b2 , . . . , bn ) with b1 < bn−1 .
1
Case p ∈ (0, 1). This case reduces to the case p > 1, replacing each of the ai by aip , each of
1  1 
the xi by xip , and then p by p1 . Thus, we obtain the sufficient condition that h(x) = xf 0 x 1−p
to be strictly
 convex
1
 on (0, ∞). We claim that this condition is equivalent to the condition that
g(x) = f 0 x p−1 to be strictly convex on (0, ∞). Actually, for our proof, it suffices to show
that if g(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞), then h(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞). To show this,
1 1

we see that g x = x h(x). Since g(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞), by Jensen’s inequality we
have u v
+y
   
1 1 x
ug + vg > (u + v)g
x y u+v
for any x, y, u, v > 0 with x 6= y. This inequality is equivalent to
  !
u v u v u+v
h(x) + h(y) > + h u v .
x y x y x
+y
Substituting u = tx and v = (1 − t)y, where t ∈ (0, 1), reduces the inequality to
th(x) + (1 − t)h(y) > h(tx + (1 − t)y),
which shows us that h(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞). 
Proof of Corollary 1.8. We will apply Theorem 1.3 to the function f (u) = p ln u. We see that
lim f (u) = −∞ for p > 0, and
u→0

0 p 0
 1
 1
00 p2 2p−1
f (u) = , g(x) = f x p−1 = px 1−p , g (x) = x 1−p .
u (1 − p)2
Since g 00 (x) > 0 for x > 0, the function g(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞), and the conclusion
follows by Theorem 1.3. 
Proof of Corollary 1.9. We will apply Theorem 1.3 to the function
f (u) = q(q − 1)(q − p)uq .
For p > 0, it is easy to check that either f (u) is continuous at u = 0 (in the case q > 0) or
lim f (u) = −∞ (in the case q < 0). We have
u→0

## f 0 (u) = q 2 (q − 1)(q − p)uq−1

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
8 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

and
 1  q−1
g(x) = f 0 x p−1 = q 2 (q − 1)(q − p)x p−1 ,
q 2 (q − 1)2 (q − p)2 2p−1
00
g (x) = x 1−p .
(p − 1)2
Since g 00 (x) > 0 for x > 0, the function g(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞), and the conclusion
follows by Theorem 1.3. 

3. A PPLICATIONS
Proposition 3.1. Let x, y, z be non-negative real numbers such that x+y+z = 2. If r0 ≤ r ≤ 3,
ln 2
where r0 = ln 3−ln 2
≈ 1.71, then
xr (y + z) + y r (z + x) + z r (x + y) ≤ 2.
Proof. Rewrite the inequality in the homogeneous form
 r+1
r+1 r+1 r+1 x+y+z
x +y +z +2 ≥ (x + y + z)(xr + y r + z r ),
2
and apply Corollary 1.9 (case p = r and q = r + 1):
If 0 ≤ x ≤ y ≤ z such that
x + y + z = constant and
x + y r + z r = constant,
r

then the sum xr+1 + y r+1 + z r+1 is minimal when either x = 0 or 0 < x ≤ y = z.
Case x = 0. The initial inequality becomes
yz(y r−1 + z r−1 ) ≤ 2,
where y + z = 2. Since 0 < r − 1 ≤ 2, by the Power Mean inequality we have
 r−1
y r−1 + z r−1
 2
y + z2 2
≤ .
2 2
Thus, it suffices to show that
 2  r−1
y + z2 2
yz ≤ 1.
2
Taking account of
y2 + z2 2(y 2 + z 2 ) r−1
= 2
≥ 1 and ≤ 1,
2 (y + z) 2
we have
 2  r−1
y + z2 2
 2
y + z2

1 − yz ≥ 1 − yz
2 2
4
(y + z) yz(y 2 + z 2 )
= −
16 2
4
(y − z)
= ≥ 0.
16
Case 0 < x ≤ y = z. In the homogeneous inequality we may leave aside the constraint
x + y + z = 2, and consider y = z = 1, 0 < x ≤ 1. The inequality reduces to
 x r+1
1+ − xr − x − 1 ≥ 0.
2

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 9

x r+1

Since 1 + 2
is increasing and xr is decreasing in respect to r, it suffices to consider r = r0 .
Let  x r0 +1
f (x) = 1 + − xr0 − x − 1.
2
We have
r0 + 1  x r0
f 0 (x) = 1+ − r0 xr0 −1 − 1,
2 2
1 00 r0 + 1  x r0 r0 − 1
f (x) = 1+ − 2−r0 .
r0 4 2 x
Since f 00 (x) is strictly increasing on (0, 1], f 00 (0+ ) = −∞ and
 r
1 00 r0 + 1 3 0
f (1) = − r0 + 1
r0 4 2
r0 + 1 3 − r0
= − r0 + 1 = > 0,
2 2
there exists x1 ∈ (0, 1) such that f 00 (x1 ) = 0, f 00 (x) < 0 for x ∈ (0, x1 ), and f 00 (x) > 0 for
x ∈ (x1 , 1]. Therefore, the function f 0 (x) is strictly decreasing for x ∈ [0, x1 ], and strictly
increasing for x ∈ [x1 , 1]. Since
 r0 
0 r0 − 1 0 r0 + 1 3
f (0) = > 0 and f (1) = − 2 = 0,
2 2 2
there exists x2 ∈ (0, x1 ) such that f 0 (x2 ) = 0, f 0 (x) > 0 for x ∈ [0, x2 ), and f 0 (x) < 0 for
x ∈ (x2 , 1). Thus, the function f (x) is strictly increasing for x ∈ [0, x2 ], and strictly decreasing
for x ∈ [x2 , 1]. Since f (0) = f (1) = 0, it follows that f (x) ≥ 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1, establishing the
desired result.
For x ≤ y ≤ z, equality occurs when x = 0 and y = z = 1. Moreover, for r = r0 , equality
holds again when x = y = z = 1. 
Proposition 3.2 (). Let x, y, z be non-negative real numbers such that xy + yz + zx = 3.
If 1 < r ≤ 2, then
xr (y + z) + y r (z + x) + z r (x + y) ≥ 6.
Proof. Rewrite the inequality in the homogeneous form
  r+1
r r r xy + yz + zx 2
x (y + z) + y (z + x) + z (x + y) ≥ 6 .
3
For convenience, we may leave aside the constraint xy + yz + zx = 3. Using now the constraint
x + y + z = 1, the inequality becomes
 r+1
1 − x2 − y 2 − z 2 2

r r r
x (1 − x) + y (1 − y) + z (1 − z) ≥ 6 .
6
To prove it, we will apply Corollary 1.5 to the function f (u) = −ur (1 − u) for 0 ≤ u ≤ 1. We
have f 0 (u) = −rur−1 + (r + 1)ur and
g(x) = f 0 (x) = −rxr−1 + (r + 1)xr , g 00 (x) = r(r − 1)xr−3 [(r + 1)x + 2 − r].
Since g 00 (x) > 0 for x > 0, g(x) is strictly convex on [0, ∞). According to Corollary 1.5,
if 0 ≤ x ≤ y ≤ z such that x + y + z = 1 and x2 + y 2 + z 2 = constant, then the sum
f (x) + f (y) + f (z) is maximal for 0 ≤ x = y ≤ z.

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
10 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

Thus, we have only to prove the original inequality in the case x = y ≤ z. This means, to
prove that 0 < x ≤ 1 ≤ y and x2 + 2xz = 3 implies
xr (x + z) + xz r ≥ 3.
2
Let f (x) = xr (x + z) + xz r − 3, with z = 3−x
2x
.
−(x+z)
Differentiating the equation x + 2xz = 3 yields z 0 =
2
x
. Then,
f 0 (x) = (r + 1)xr + rxr−1 z + z r + (xr + rxz r−1 )z 0
= (xr−1 − z r−1 )[rx + (r − 1)z] ≤ 0.
The function f (x) is strictly decreasing on [0, 1], and hence f (x) ≥ f (1) = 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1.
Equality occurs if and only if x = y = z = 1. 
Proposition 3.3 (). If x1 , x2 , . . . , xn are positive real numbers such that
1 1 1
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = + + ··· + ,
x1 x2 xn
then
1 1 1
+ + ··· + ≥ 1.
1 + (n − 1)x1 1 + (n − 1)x2 1 + (n − 1)xn
Proof. We have to consider two cases.
Case n = 2. The inequality is verified as equality.
Case n ≥ 3. Assume that 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn , and then apply Corollary 1.6 to the function
−(n−1)
1
f (u) = 1+(n−1)u for u > 0. We have f 0 (u) = [1+(n−1)u] 2 and

 
0 1 −(n − 1)x
g(x) = f √ = √ 2,
x ( x + n − 1)
3(n − 1)2
g 00 (x) = √ √ 4.
2 x ( x + n − 1)
Since g 00 (x) > 0, g(x) is strictly convex on (0, ∞). According to Corollary 1.6, if 0 < x1 ≤
x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = constant and
1 1 1
+ + ··· + = constant,
x1 x2 xn
then the sum f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn ) is minimal when 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Thus, we have to prove the inequality
1 n−1
+ ≥ 1,
1 + (n − 1)x 1 + (n − 1)y
under the constraints 0 < x ≤ 1 ≤ y and
1 n−1
x + (n − 1)y = + .
x y
The last constraint is equivalent to
y(1 − x2 )
(n − 1)(y − 1) = .
x(1 + y)

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 11

Since
1 n−1
+ −1
1 + (n − 1)x 1 + (n − 1)y
1 1 n−1 n−1
= − + −
1 + (n − 1)x n 1 + (n − 1)y n
2
(n − 1)(1 − x) (n − 1) (y − 1)
= −
n[1 + (n − 1)x] n[1 + (n − 1)y]
(n − 1)(1 − x) (n − 1)y(1 − x2 )
= − ,
n[1 + (n − 1)x] nx(1 + y)[1 + (n − 1)y]
we must show that
x(1 + y)[1 + (n − 1)y] ≥ y(1 + x)[1 + (n − 1)x],
which reduces to
(y − x)[(n − 1)xy − 1] ≥ 0.
Since y − x ≥ 0, we have still to prove that
(n − 1)xy ≥ 1.
1 n−1 y+(n−1)x
Indeed, from x + (n − 1)y = x
+ y
we get xy = x+(n−1)y
, and hence
n(n − 2)x
(n − 1)xy − 1 = > 0.
x + (n − 1)y
For n ≥ 3, one has equality if and only if x1 = x2 = · · · = xn = 1. 
Proposition 3.4 (). Let a1 , a2 , . . . , an be positive real numbers such that a1 a2 · · · an = 1. If
m is a positive integer satisfying m ≥ n − 1, then
 
m m m 1 1 1
a1 + a2 + · · · + an + (m − 1)n ≥ m + + ··· + .
a1 a2 an
Proof. For n = 2 (hence m ≥ 1), the inequality reduces to
am m
1 + a2 + 2m − 2 ≥ m(a1 + a2 ).

## We can prove it by summing the inequalities am m

1 ≥ 1+m(a1 −1) and a2 ≥ 1+m(a2 −1), which
are straightforward consequences of Bernoulli’s inequality. For n ≥ 3, replacing a1 , a2 , . . . , an
by x11 , x12 , . . . , x1n , respectively, we have to show that
1 1 1
+ + · · · + + (m − 1)n ≥ m(x1 + x2 + · · · + xn )
xm
1 xm
2 xm
n
for x1 x2 · · · xn = 1. Assume 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn and apply Corollary 1.9 (case p = 0 and
q = −m):
If 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = constant and
x1 x2 · · · xn = 1,
then the sum x1m + x1m + · · · + x1m is minimal when 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn .
1 2 n
Thus, it suffices to prove the inequality for x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 = x ≤ 1, xn = y and
xn−1 y = 1, when it reduces to:
n−1 1
m
+ m + (m − 1)n ≥ m(n − 1)x + my.
x y

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
12 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

## By the AM-GM inequality, we have

n−1 m
m
+ (m − n + 1) ≥ n−1 = my.
x x
Then, we have still to show that
1
− 1 ≥ m(n − 1)(x − 1).
ym
This inequality is equivalent to
xmn−m − 1 − m(n − 1)(x − 1) ≥ 0
and
(x − 1)[(xmn−m−1 − 1) + (xmn−m−2 − 1) + · · · + (x − 1)] ≥ 0.
The last inequality is clearly true. For n = 2 and m = 1, the inequality becomes equality.
Otherwise, equality occurs if and only if a1 = a2 = · · · = an = 1. 
Proposition 3.5 (). Let x1 , x2 , . . . , xn be non-negative real numbers such that x1 +x2 +· · ·+
n
k−1
xn = n. If k is a positive integer satisfying 2 ≤ k ≤ n + 2, and r = n−1 − 1, then
xk1 + xk2 + · · · + xkn − n ≥ nr(1 − x1 x2 · · · xn ).
Proof. If n = 2, then the inequality reduces to xk1 + xk2 − 2 ≥ (2k − 2)x1 x2 . For k = 2 and
k = 3, this inequality becomes equality, while for k = 4 it reduces to 6x1 x2 (1 − x1 x2 ) ≥ 0,
which is clearly true.
Consider now n ≥ 3 and 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn . Towards proving the inequality,
we will apply Corollary 1.8 (case p = k > 0): If 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = n and xk1 + xk2 + · · · + xkn = constant, then the product x1 x2 · · · xn is
minimal when either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Case x1 = 0. The inequality reduces to
nk
xk2 + · · · + xkn ≥ ,
(n − 1)k−1
with x2 + · · · + xn = n, This inequality follows by applying Jensen’s inequality to the convex
function f (u) = uk :
 k
k k x2 + · · · + xn
x2 + · · · + xn ≥ (n − 1) .
n−1
Case 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn . Denoting x1 = x and x2 = x3 = · · · = xn = y, we have
to prove that for 0 < x ≤ 1 ≤ y and x + (n − 1)y = n, the inequality holds:
xk + (n − 1)y k + nrxy n−1 − n(r + 1) ≥ 0.
Write the inequality as f (x) ≥ 0, where
n−x
f (x) = xk + (n − 1)y k + nrxy n−1 − n(r + 1), with y= .
n−1
−1
We see that f (0) = f (1) = 0. Since y 0 = n−1
, we have
f 0 (x) = k(xk−1 − y k−1 ) + nry n−2 (y − x)
= (y − x)[nry n−2 − k(y k−2 + y k−3 x + · · · + xk−2 )]
= (y − x)y n−2 [nr − kg(x)],

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 13

where
1 x xk−2
g(x) = + + ··· + .
y n−k y n−k+1 y n−2
Since the function y(x) = n−x
n−1
is strictly decreasing, the function g(x) is strictly increasing for
2 ≤ k ≤ n. For k = n + 1, we have
x2 xn−1
g(x) = y + x + + · · · + n−2
y y
2
(n − 2)x + n x xn−1
= + + · · · + n−2 ,
n−1 y y
and for k = n + 2, we have
x3 xn
g(x) = y 2 + yx + x2 + + · · · + n−2
y y
(n − 3n + 3)x + n(n − 3)x + n2 x3
2 2
xn
= + + · · · + n−2 .
(n − 1)2 y y
Therefore, the function g(x) is strictly increasing for 2 ≤ k ≤ n + 2, and the function
h(x) = nr − kg(x)
is strictly decreasing. Note that
f 0 (x) = (y − x)y n−2 h(x).
We assert that h(0) > 0 and h(1) < 0. If our claim is true, then there exists x1 ∈ (0, 1) such that
h(x1 ) = 0, h(x) > 0 for x ∈ [0, x1 ), and h(x) < 0 for x ∈ (x1 , 1]. Consequently, f (x) is strictly
increasing for x ∈ [0, x1 ], and strictly decreasing for x ∈ [x1 , 1]. Since f (0) = f (1) = 0, it
follows that f (x) ≥ 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1, and the proof is completed.
In order to prove that h(0) > 0, we assume that h(0) ≤ 0. Then, h(x) < 0 for x ∈ (0, 1),
0
f (x) < 0 for x ∈ (0, 1), and f (x) is strictly decreasing for x ∈ [0, 1], which contradicts
f (0) = f (1). Also, if h(1) ≥ 0, then h(x) > 0 for x ∈ (0, 1), f 0 (x) > 0 for x ∈ (0, 1), and
f (x) is strictly increasing for x ∈ [0, 1], which also contradicts f (0) = f (1).
For n ≥ 3 and x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn , equality occurs when x1 = x2 = · · · = xn = 1, and also
n
when x1 = 0 and x2 = · · · = xn = n−1 . 
Remark 3.6. For k = 2, k = 3 and k = 4, we get the following nice inequalities:
(n − 1)(x21 + x22 + · · · + x2n ) + nx1 x2 · · · xn ≥ n2 ,

## (n − 1)2 (x31 + x32 + · · · + x3n ) + n(2n − 1)x1 x2 · · · xn ≥ n3 ,

(n − 1)3 (x41 + x42 + · · · + x4n ) + n(3n2 − 3n + 1)x1 x2 · · · xn ≥ n4 .
Remark 3.7. The inequality for k = n was posted in 2004 on the Mathlinks Site - Inequalities
Forum by Gabriel Dospinescu and Călin Popa.
Proposition 3.8 (). Let x1 , x2 , . . . , xn be positive real numbers such that x11 + x12 +· · ·+ x1n =
n. Then
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn − n ≤ en−1 (x1 x2 · · · xn − 1),
1
n−1
where en−1 = 1 + n−1 < e.

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
14 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

## Proof. Replacing each of the xi by a1i , the statement becomes as follows:

If a1 , a2 , . . . , an are positive numbers such that a1 + a2 + · · · + an = n, then
 
1 1 1
a1 a2 · · · an + + ··· + − n + en−1 ≤ en−1 .
a1 a2 an
It is easy to check that the inequality holds for n = 2. Consider now n ≥ 3, assume that
0 < a1 ≤ a2 ≤ · · · ≤ an and apply Corollary 1.8 (case p = −1): If 0 < a1 ≤ a2 ≤ · · · ≤ an
such that a1 + a2 + · · · + an = n and a11 + a12 + · · · + a1n = constant, then the product a1 a2 · · · an
is maximal when 0 < a1 ≤ a2 = a3 = · · · = an .
Denoting a1 = x and a2 = a3 = · · · = an = y, we have to prove that for 0 < x ≤ 1 ≤ y <
n
n−1
and x + (n − 1)y = n, the inequality holds:
y n−1 + (n − 1)xy n−2 − (n − en−1 )xy n−1 ≤ en−1 .
Letting
f (x) = y n−1 + (n − 1)xy n−2 − (n − en−1 )xy n−1 − en−1 , with
n−x
y= ,
n−1
−1
we must show that f (x) ≤ 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1. We see that f (0) = f (1) = 0. Since y 0 = n−1 , we
have
f 0 (x)
= (y − x)[n − 2 − (n − en−1 )y] = (y − x)h(x),
y n−3
where
n−x
h(x) = n − 2 − (n − en−1 )
n−1
is a linear increasing function.
Let us show that h(0) < 0 and h(1) > 0. If h(0) ≥ 0, then h(x) > 0 for x ∈ (0, 1),
hence f 0 (x) > 0 for x ∈ (0, 1), and f (x) is strictly increasing for x ∈ [0, 1], which contradicts
f (0) = f (1). Also, h(1) = en−1 − 2 > 0.
From h(0) < 0 and h(1) > 0, it follows that there exists x1 ∈ (0, 1) such that h(x1 ) = 0,
h(x) < 0 for x ∈ [0, x1 ), and h(x) > 0 for x ∈ (x1 , 1]. Consequently, f (x) is strictly decreasing
for x ∈ [0, x1 ], and strictly increasing for x ∈ [x1 , 1]. Since f (0) = f (1) = 0, it follows that
f (x) ≤ 0 for 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.
For n ≥ 3, equality occurs when x1 = x2 = · · · = xn = 1. 
Proposition 3.9 (). If x1 , x2 , . . . , xn are positive real numbers, then
xn1 + xn2 + · · · + xnn + n(n − 1)x1 x2 · · · xn
 
1 1 1
≥ x1 x2 · · · xn (x1 + x2 + · · · + xn ) + + ··· + .
x1 x2 xn
Proof. For n = 2, one has equality. Assume now that n ≥ 3, 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn and
apply Corollary 1.9 (case p = 0): If 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = constant and
x1 x2 · · · xn = constant,
then the sum xn1 + xn2 + · · · + xnn is minimal and the sum x11 + x12 + · · · + x1n is maximal when
0 < x 1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Thus, it suffices to prove the inequality for 0 < x1 ≤ 1 and x2 = x3 = · · · = xn = 1. The
inequality becomes
xn1 + (n − 2)x1 ≥ (n − 1)x21 ,

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 15

and is equivalent to
x1 (x1 − 1)[(xn−2
1 − 1) + (xn−3
1 − 1) + · · · + (x1 − 1)] ≥ 0,
which is clearly true. For n ≥ 3, equality occurs if and only if x1 = x2 = · · · = xn . 
Proposition 3.10 (). If x1 , x2 , . . . , xn are non-negative real numbers, then
(n − 1)(xn1 + xn2 + · · · + xnn ) + nx1 x2 · · · xn
≥ (x1 + x2 + · · · + xn )(xn−1
1 + xn−1
2 + · · · + xnn−1 ).
Proof. For n = 2, one has equality. For n ≥ 3, assume that 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn
and apply Corollary 1.9 (case p = n and q = n − 1) and Corollary 1.8 (case p = n): If
0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = constant and
xn1 + xn2 + · · · + xnn = constant,
then the sum xn−11 + xn−1
2 + · · · + xn−1
n is maximal and the product x1 x2 · · · xn is minimal when
either x1 = 0 or 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
So, it suffices to consider the cases x1 = 0 and 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn .
Case x1 = 0. The inequality reduces to
(n − 1)(xn2 + · · · + xnn ) ≥ (x2 + · · · + xn )(xn−1
2 + · · · + xnn−1 ),
which immediately follows by Chebyshev’s inequality.
Case 0 < x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn . Setting x2 = x3 = · · · = xn = 1, the inequality reduces
to:
(n − 2)xn1 + x1 ≥ (n − 1)xn−1
1 .
Rewriting this inequality as
x1 (x1 − 1)[xn−3
1 (x1 − 1) + xn−4
1 (x21 − 1) + · · · + (x1n−2 − 1)] ≥ 0,
we see that it is clearly true. For n ≥ 3 and x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn equality occurs when
x1 = x2 = · · · = xn , and for x1 = 0 and x2 = · · · = xn . 
Proposition 3.11 (). If x1 , x2 , . . . , xn are positive real numbers, then
 
1 1 1 1
(x1 + x2 + · · · + xn − n) + + ··· + − n + x1 x2 · · · xn + ≥ 2.
x1 x2 xn x1 x2 · · · xn
Proof. For n = 2, the inequality reduces to
(1 − x1 )2 (1 − x2 )2
≥ 0.
x1 x2
For n ≥ 3, assume that 0 < x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn . Since the inequality preserves its form
by replacing each number xi with x1i , we may consider x1 x2 · · · xn ≥ 1. So, by the AM-GM
inequality we get

x1 + x2 + · · · + xn − n ≥ n n x1 x2 · · · xn − n ≥ 0,
and we may apply Corollary 1.9 (case p = 0 and q = −1): If 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such
that
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = constant and
x1 x2 · · · xn = constant,
1 1 1
then the sum x1
+ x2
+ ··· + xn
is minimal when 0 < x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn .

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
16 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

## According to this statement, it suffices to consider x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 = x and xn = y,

when the inequality reduces to
 
n−1 1 1
((n − 1)x + y − n) + − n + xn−1 y + n−1 ≥ 2,
x y x y
or
n(n − 1)(x − 1)2
   
n−1 n−1 1 1
x + − n y + n−1 + (n − 1)x − n ≥ .
x x y x
Since
n−1 x − 1 n−1
xn−1 + −n= [(x − 1) + (xn−2 − 1) + · · · + (x − 1)]
x x
(x − 1)2 n−2
= [x + 2xn−3 + · · · + (n − 1)]
x
and
(x − 1)2
 
1 1 2
+ (n − 1)x − n = + + · · · + (n − 1) ,
xn−1 x xn−2 xn−3
it is enough to show that
 
n−2 n−3 1 2 1
[x + 2x + · · · + (n − 1)]y + n−2 + n−3 + · · · + (n − 1) ≥ n(n − 1).
x x y
This inequality is equivalent to
   
n−2 1 n−3 1
x y + n−2 − 2 + 2 x y + n−3 − 2
x y x y
 
1
+ · · · + (n − 1) y + − 2 ≥ 0,
y
or
(xn−2 y − 1)2 2(xn−3 y − 1)2 (n − 1)(y − 1)2
+ + · · · + ≥ 0,
xn−2 y xn−3 y y
which is clearly true. Equality occurs if and only if n − 1 of the numbers xi are equal to 1. 
Proposition 3.12 (). If x1 , x2 , . . . , xn are non-negative real numbers such that x1 + x2 +
· · · + xn = n, then
√1
(x1 x2 · · · xn ) n−1 (x21 + x22 + · · · + x2n ) ≤ n.
Proof. For n = 2, the inequality reduces to 2(x1 x2 − 1)2 ≥ 0. For n ≥ 3, assume that
0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn and apply Corollary 1.8 (case p = 2): If 0 ≤ x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn
such that x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = n and x21 + x22 + · · · + x2n = constant, then the product x1 x2 · · · xn
is maximal when 0 ≤ x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 ≤ xn .
Consequently, it suffices to show that the inequality holds for x1 = x2 = · · · = xn−1 = x and
xn = y, where 0 ≤ x ≤ 1 ≤ y and (n − 1)x + y = n. Under the circumstances, the inequality
reduces to √
√1
x n−1 y n−1 [(n − 1)x2 + y 2 ] ≤ n.
For x = 0, the inequality is trivial. For x > 0, it is equivalent to f (x) ≤ 0, where
√ 1
f (x) = n − 1 ln x + √ ln y + ln[(n − 1)x2 + y 2 ] − ln n,
n−1
with y = n − (n − 1)x.

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 17

## We have y 0 = −(n − 1) and

√ √
f 0 (x) 1 1 2 n − 1(x − y) (y − x)( n − 1x − y)2
√ = − + = ≥ 0.
n−1 x y (n − 1)x2 + y 2 xy[(n − 1)x2 + y 2 ]
Therefore, the function f (x) is strictly increasing on (0, 1] and hence f (x) ≤ f (1) = 0. Equal-
ity occurs if and only if x1 = x2 = · · · = xn = 1. 
Remark 3.13. For n = 5, we get the following nice statement:
If a, b, c, d, e are positive real numbers such that a2 + b2 + c2 + d2 + e2 = 5, then
abcde(a4 + b4 + c4 + d4 + e4 ) ≤ 5.
Proposition 3.14 (). Let x, y, z be non-negative real numbers such that xy + yz + zx = 3,
and let
ln 9 − ln 4
p≥ ≈ 0.738.
ln 3
Then,
xp + y p + z p ≥ 3.
ln 9−ln 4
Proof. Let r = ln 3
. By the Power-Mean inequality, we have
p
xp + y p + z p
 r
x + yr + zr r
≥ .
3 3
Thus, it suffices to show that
xr + y r + z r ≥ 3.
Let x ≤ y ≤ z. We consider two cases.
Case x = 0. We have to show that y r + z r ≥ 3 for yz = 3. Indeed, by the AM-GM inequality,
we get
y r + z r ≥ 2(yz)r/2 = 2 · 3r/2 = 3.
Case x > 0. The inequality xr + y r + z r ≥ 3 is equivalent to the homogeneous inequality
 xyz  r2  1 1 1  r2
r r r
x +y +z ≥3 + + .
3 x y z
1 1 1
Setting x = a r , y = b r , z = c r (0 < a ≤ b ≤ c), the inequality becomes
 1  r2
abc 2  −1 −1 −1
a+b+c≥3 a r +b r +c r .
3
Towards proving this inequality, we apply Corollary 1.9 (case p = 0, q = −1 r
): If 0 < a ≤ b ≤ c
−1 −1 −1
such that a + b + c = constant and abc = constant, then the sum a r + b r + c r is maximal
when 0 < a ≤ b = c.
So, it suffices to prove the inequality for 0 < a ≤ b = c; that is, to prove the homogeneous
inequality in x, y, z for 0 < x ≤ y = z. Without loss of generality, we may leave aside the
constraint xy + yz + zx = 3, and consider y = z = 1 and 0 < x ≤ 1. The inequality reduces to
  r2
2x + 1
xr + 2 ≥ 3 .
3
Denoting
xr + 2 r 2x + 1
f (x) = ln − ln ,
3 2 3

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
18 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

## we have to show that f (x) ≥ 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1. The derivative

rxr−1 r r(x − 2x1−r + 1)
f 0 (x) = − =
xr + 2 2x + 1 x1−r (xr + 2)(2x + 1)

## has the same sign as g(x) = x − 2x1−r + 1. Since g 0 (x) = 1 − 2(1−r) xr

, we see that g 0 (x) < 0
for x ∈ (0, x1 ), and g 0 (x) > 0 for x ∈ (x1 , 1], where x1 = (2 − 2r)1/r ≈ 0.416. The function
g(x) is strictly decreasing on [0, x1 ], and strictly increasing on [x1 , 1]. Since g(0) = 1 and
g(1) = 0, there exists x2 ∈ (0, 1) such that g(x2 ) = 0, g(x) > 0 for x ∈ [0, x2 ) and g(x) < 0
for x ∈ (x2 , 1). Consequently, the function f (x) is strictly increasing on [0, x2 ] and strictly
decreasing on [x2 , 1]. Since f (0) = f (1) = 0, we have f (x) ≥ 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1, establishing
the desired result.
Equality occurs for x = y = z = 1. Additionally, for p = ln 9−ln 4
and x ≤ y ≤ z, equality
√ ln 3
holds again for x = 0 and y = z = 3. 

Proposition 3.15 (). Let x, y, z be non-negative real numbers such that x + y + z = 3, and
ln 9−ln 8
let p ≥ ln 3−ln 2
≈ 0.29. Then,

xp + y p + z p ≥ xy + yz + zx.

## Proof. For p ≥ 1, by Jensen’s inequality we have

 p
p p p x+y+z
x +y +z ≥3
3
1
= 3 = (x + y + z)2 ≥ xy + yz + zx.
3
Assume now p < 1. Let r = ln 9−ln 8
ln 3−ln 2
and x ≤ y ≤ z. The inequality is equivalent to the
homogeneous inequality
 2−p
p p p x+y+z
2(x + y + z ) + x2 + y 2 + z 2 ≥ (x + y + z)2 .
3
By Corollary 1.9 (case 0 < p < 1 and q = 2), if x ≤ y ≤ z such that x + y + z = constant
and xp + y p + z p = constant, then the sum x2 + y 2 + z 2 is minimal when either x = 0 or
0 < x ≤ y = z.
Case x = 0. Returning to our original inequality, we have to show that y p + z p ≥ yz for
y + z = 3. Indeed, by the AM-GM inequality, we get
p
y p + z p − yz ≥ 2(yz) 2 − yz
p 2−p
= (yz) 2 [2 − (yz) 2 ]
"  2−p #
p y+z
≥ (yz) 2 2 −
2
"  2−p #
p 3
= (yz) 2 2 −
2
"  2−r #
p 3
≥ (yz) 2 2 − = 0.
2

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 19

Case 0 < x ≤ y = z. In the homogeneous inequality, we may leave aside the constraint
x + y + z = 3, and consider y = z = 1 and 0 < x ≤ 1. Thus, the inequality reduces to
 2−p
p x+2
(x + 2) ≥ 2x + 1.
3
To prove this inequality, we consider the function
x+2
f (x) = ln(xp + 2) + (2 − p) ln
− ln(2x + 1).
3
We have to show that f (x) ≥ 0 for 0 < x ≤ 1 and r ≤ p < 1. We have
pxp−1 2−p 2 2g(x)
f 0 (x) = p
+ − = 1−p p ,
x +2 x + 2 2x + 1 x (x + 2)(2x + 1)
where
g(x) = x2 + (2p − 1)x + p + 2(1 − p)x2−p − (p + 2)x1−p ,
and
g 0 (x) = 2x + 2p − 1 + 2(1 − p)(2 − p)x1−p − (p + 2)(1 − p)x−p ,
g 00 (x) = 2 + 2(1 − p)2 (2 − p)x−p + p(p + 2)(1 − p)x−p−1 .
Since g 00 (x) > 0, the first derivative g 0 (x) is strictly increasing on (0, 1]. Taking into account
that g 0 (0+) = −∞ and g 0 (1) = 3(1 − p) + 3p2 > 0, there is x1 ∈ (0, 1) such that g 0 (x1 ) = 0,
g 0 (x) < 0 for x ∈ (0, x1 )and g 0 (x) > 0 for x ∈ (x1 , 1]. Therefore, the function g(x) is strictly
decreasing on [0, x1 ] and strictly increasing on [x1 , 1]. Since g(0) = p > 0 and g(1) = 0, there
is x2 ∈ (0, x1 ) such that g(x2 ) = 0, g(x) > 0 for x ∈ [0, x2 ) and g(x) < 0 for x ∈ (x2 , 1]. We
have also f 0 (x2 ) = 0, f 0 (x) > 0 for x ∈ (0, x2 ) and f 0 (x) < 0 for x ∈ (x2 , 1]. According to this
result, the function f (x) is strictly increasing on [0, x2 ] and strictly decreasing on [x2 , 1]. Since
2 2
f (0) = ln 2 + (2 − p) ln ≥ ln 2 + (2 − r) ln = 0
3 3
and f (1) = 0, we get f (x) ≥ min{f (0), f (1)} = 0.
Equality occurs for x = y = z = 1. Additionally, for p = ln 9−ln 8
ln 3−ln 2
and x ≤ y ≤ z, equality
3
holds again when x = 0 and y = z = 2 . 
Proposition 3.16 (). If x1 , x2 , . . . , xn (n ≥ 4) are non-negative numbers such that x1 + x2 +
· · · + xn = n, then
1 1 1
+ + ··· + ≤ 1.
n + 1 − x2 x3 · · · xn n + 1 − x3 x4 · · · x1 n + 1 − x1 x2 · · · xn−1
1
n−1
Proof. Let x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn and en−1 = 1 + n−1 . By the AM-GM inequality, we have
 n−1  n−1
x2 + · · · + xn x1 + x2 + · · · + xn
x2 · · · xn ≤ ≤ = en−1 .
n−1 n−1
Hence
n + 1 − x2 x3 · · · xn ≥ n + 1 − en−1 > 0,
and all denominators of the inequality are positive.
Case x1 = 0. It is easy to show that the inequality holds.
Case x1 > 0. Suppose that x1 x2 · · · xn = (n + 1)r = constant, r > 0. The inequality becomes
x1 x2 xn
+ + ··· + ≤ n + 1,
x1 − r x2 − r xn − r

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
20 VASILE C ÎRTOAJE

or
1 1 1 1
+ + ··· + ≤ .
x1 − r x2 − r xn − r r
By the AM-GM inequality, we have
 n
x1 + x2 + · · · + xn
(n + 1)r = x1 x2 · · · xn ≤ = 1,
n
1
hence r ≤ n+1 . From xn < x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = n < n + 1 ≤ 1r , we get xn < 1r . Therefore,
we have r < xi < 1r for all numbers xi .
−1
We will apply now Corollary 1.7 to the function f (u) = u−r , u > r. We have f 0 (u) = (u−r)
1
2

and
x2
 
1 4rx + 2
g(x) = f 0 = 2
, g 00 (x) = .
x (1 − rx) (1 − rx)4
Since g 00 (x) > 0, g(x) is strictly convex on r, 1r . According to Corollary 1.7, if 0 ≤ x1 ≤

x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn such that for x1 + x2 + · · · + xn = constant and x1 x2 · · · xn = constant, then the
sum f (x1 ) + f (x2 ) + · · · + f (xn ) is minimal when x1 ≤ x2 = x3 = · · · = xn . Thus, to prove
the original inequality, it suffices to consider the case x1 = x and x2 = x3 = · · · = xn = y,
where 0 < x ≤ 1 ≤ y and x + (n − 1)y = n. We leave ending the proof to the reader. 
Remark 3.17. The inequality is a particular case of the following more general statement:
n−1
Let n ≥ 3, en−1 = 1 + n−1 1
, kn = (n−1)e n−1
n−en−1
and let a1 , a2 , . . . , an be non-negative
numbers such that a1 + a2 + · · · + an = n.
(a) If k ≥ kn , then
1 1 1 n
+ + ··· + ≤ ;
k − a2 a2 · · · an k − a3 a4 · · · a1 k − a1 a2 · · · an−1 k−1
(b) If en−1 < k < kn , then
1 1 1 n−1 1
+ + ··· + ≤ + .
k − a2 a3 · · · an k − a3 a4 · · · a1 k − a1 a2 · · · an−1 k k − en−1
Finally, we mention that many other applications of the EV-Method are given in the book .

R EFERENCES
 V. CÎRTOAJE, A generalization of Jensen’s inequality, Gazeta Matematică A, 2 (2005), 124–138.
 V. CÎRTOAJE, Algebraic Inequalities - Old and New Methods, GIL Publishing House, Romania,
2006.
 V. CÎRTOAJE, Two generalizations of Popoviciu’s Inequality, Crux Math., 31(5) (2005), 313–318.
 V. CÎRTOAJE, Solution to problem 2724 by Walther Janous, Crux Math., 30(1) (2004), 44–46.
 V. CÎRTOAJE, Problem 10528, A.M.M, 103(5) (1996), 428.
123604, Dec 10, 2006.
56732, Oct 19, 2005.
18627, Jan 29, 2005.
14906, Aug 04, 2004.

J. Inequal. Pure and Appl. Math., 8(1) (2007), Art. 15, 21 pp. http://jipam.vu.edu.au/
E QUAL VARIABLE M ETHOD 21

t=19076, Nov 2, 2004.