Suppose a and b are positive integers. We all know that a²+2ab+b² is a perfect square. Give an example where also a²+ab+b² is a perfect square. How many such examples exist?

By the problem

c^2 = a^2 + ab + b^2 = (a + b/2)^2 + 3*((b/2)^2)

where c is a positive integer

Now, substituting c= K(x^2 + 3*(y^2)); a + b/2 = K(x^2 - 3*(y^2)) and b/2 = 2Kxy and solving; we obtain b = 4Kxy giving a = K(x^2 – 3*(y^2) – 2xy) = K(x + y) (x – 3y)

So for any two given integers x and y but positive rational number K ( which is also inclusive of positive integral values) it is clearly observed that (a^2+ab+b^2) is always a perfect square whenever:

a = K(x^2 – 3*(y^2) – 2xy) = K(x + y) (x – 3y) and

b = 4Kxy .------------------------------------------(#)

For example, K=1/4; x = 7 and y = 1 would generate the pair (a, b) = (8,7) and since 8^2 + 8*7 + 7^2 = 13^2; this is in conformity with all the conditions of the problem under reference.

So, the given problem admits of an infinite number of solutions for the above forms corresponding to a and b in consonance with relationship (#).

*Edited on ***April 27, 2006, 10:45 pm**

*Edited on ***April 28, 2006, 10:49 am**

*Edited on ***April 28, 2006, 10:50 am**