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Abstract. We consider a generalization of an olympiad problem which can be
regarded as a result for a Volterra operator.

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regarded as a result for a Volterra operator.

One of the problems of the Romanian National Olympiad in 2006 was the following

Z 1

f (x)dx = 0.

0

Z c

xf (x)dx = 0.

0

In what follows we give two proofs to this problem. In the second proof we shall

use a mean value theorem due to Flett. For more details we recommend [2] and [3].

Z t

First proof. We assume by contradiction that xf (x)dx 6= 0, ∀t ∈ (0, 1). With-

Z t 0 Z t

out loss of generality, let xf (x)dx > 0, ∀t ∈ (0, 1) and let F (t) = f (x)dx.

0 0

Integrating by part, we obtain

Z t Z t

0< xf (x)dx = tF (t) − F (x)dx, ∀t ∈ (0, 1).

0 0

Now, by passing to the limit when t → 1, and taking into account that F (1) = 0,

we deduce that

Z 1

F (x)dx ≤ 0.(∗)

0

2000 Mathematics Subject Classification. 26A24, 26A33.

1

2 RADU GOLOGAN, CEZAR LUPU

Z t

F (x)dx

H(t) = 0

, if t 6= 0 .

0, t

if t = 0

Z t

tF (t) − F (x)dx

0 0

It is easy to see H (t) = > 0, so µ is increasing on the interval

t2

(0, 1), so it is increasing on the interval [0, 1] (by continuity argument). Because

H(0) = 0, it follows that

Z 1

F (x)dx > 0,

0

which is in contradiction with (∗). So, there exists c ∈ (0, 1) such that

Z c

xf (x)dx = 0.

0

defined by

Z t Z t

H(t) = t f (x)dx − xf (x)dx

0 0

Z t Z 1

0 0 0

with H (t) = f (x)dx. It is clear that H (0) = H (1) = f (x)dx = 0. Applying

0 0

Flett’s mean value theorem (see [1]), there exists c ∈ (0, 1) such that

H(c) − H(0)

H0 (c) =

c

or Z c Z c Z c

c f (x)dx = c f (x)dx − xf (x)dx

0 0 0

which is equivalent to Z c

xf (x)dx = 0.

0

An extension of theorem 1.1 was given in [4], namely

c ∈ (0, 1) such that

Z 1 Z c Z 1 Z c

f (x)dx xg(x)dx = g(x)dx xf (x)dx.

0 0 0 0

AN OLYMPIAD PROBLEM: ZEROES OF FUNCTIONS IN THE IMAGE OF A VOLTERRA OPERATOR

3

The proof is almost the same with the second proof of theorem 1.1, only this time

we shall consider the function H̃ : [0, 1] → R defined by

Z 1 Z t Z t Z 1 Z t Z t

H̃(t) = f (x)dx t g(x)dx − xg(x)dx − g(x)dx t f (x)dx − xf (x)dx .

0 0 0 0 0 0

The proof of the main result involves some non-elementary facts. The following

lemma will be used.

nondecreasing, continuous in 0 and φ(0) = 0. Then

Z t

h(x)φ(x)dx

0

lim = 0.

t→0+ φ(t)

Z t

h(x)φ(x)dx

Proof. We assume by contradiction that lim+ 0 6= 0. Thus, there

Z tn t→0 φ(t)

h(x)φ(x)dx

0

exists a sequence tn > 0 such that ≥ c > 0, which is equivalent to

φ(tn )

Z tn

h(x)φ(x)dx ≥ cφ(tn ) > 0.

0

On the other hand, using the continuity and the fact that φ is nondecreasing we

obtain Z tn

0< h(x)φ(x)dx ≤ tn φ(tn )

0

and by letting tn → 0 we have a contradiction.

We are now able to state the general form of our intermediate value result.

Theorem 1.3. Let f, g, φ : [0, 1] → R such that f, g are continuous functions and

φ is nondecreasing, continuous in 0 and φ(0) = 0. Then there exists c ∈ (0, 1) such

that Z 1

Z Z c Z 1 c

f (x)dx g(x)φ(x)dx = g(x)dx f (x)φ(x)dx.

0 0 0 0

Z t

Proof. Let H̃(t) = h(x)φ(x)dx, where h : [0, 1] → R is a continuous function.

0

H̃(t)

By the preeceding lemma we have lim+ = 0. Integrating by parts in the

t→0 φ(t)

Riemann-Stieltjes integral setting, we have

Z 1 Z 1 Z 1

h(x)φ(x) H̃(x) 1 1

h(x)dx = dx = | − H̃(x)d =

φ(x) φ(x) φ

4 RADU GOLOGAN, CEZAR LUPU

Z 1

H̃(1) H̃() 1

= − − H̃(x)d .

φ(1) φ() φ

Z 1

Now, by letting → 0, if we assume that h(x)dx = 0, we get

0

1

H̃(1)

Z

1

= H̃(x)d .

φ(1) 0 φ

This implies that the function H̃(x) cannot be of constant sign on (0, 1). Thus

there is c ∈ (0, 1) such that H̃(c) = 0. In the particular case when

Z 1 Z 1

h(t) = f (t) g(x)φ(x)dx − g(t) f (x)φ(x)dx,

0 0

Z 1

we clearly have h(x)dx = 0, so by the considerations above there exists c ∈ (0, 1)

Z c 0

0

Z 1 Z c Z 1 Z c

f (x)dx g(x)φ(x)dx = g(x)dx f (x)φ(x)dx.

0 0 0 0

To formulate a consequence, denote by C([0, 1]) the Banach space of continuous

functions on [0, 1] and by Cnull the subspace of functions having zero integral.

Theorem 1.4. Let φ : [0, 1] → R a nondecreasing function continuous at 0 and such

that φ(0) = Z0, and consider the Volterra operator Vφ : C([0, 1]) → C([0, 1]) given by

x

Vφ (f )(x) = φ(t)f (t)dt. Then, all functions in Vφ (Cnull ) have at least one zero in

0

(0, 1).

References

[1] T.M. Flett, A mean value problem, Mathematical Gazette 42(1958), 38–39.

[2] T.L. Rădulescu, V.D. Rădulescu, T. Andreescu, Problems in Real Analysis: asvanced calculus

on the real axis, Springer Verlag, 2009.

[3] T. Lupu, Probleme de Analiză Matematică: Calcul Integral, GIL Publishing House, 1996.

[4] C. Lupu, T. Lupu Problem 11290, American Mathematical Monthly, no. 4/2007.

Independentei 313, RO–060042 and Insitute of Mathematics ”Simon Stoilow” of the

Romanian Academy, Str. Calea Grivitei nr. 21, RO–014700, Romania

E–mail address: Radu.Gologan@imar.ro

Bucharest and University of Craiova, Faculty of Mathematics, Str. A.I. Cuza 10,

RO–200585, Craiova, Romania

E–mail address: lupucezar@yahoo.com, lupucezar@gmail.com

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