# Proof of an Inequality

I'm trying to do some practice Putnam questions, and I'm stuck on the following:

For ##a,b,c \geq 0##, prove that ##(a+b)(b+c)(c+a) \geq 8abc##

(https://www.math.nyu.edu/~bellova/putnam/putnam09_6.pdf)

I started off by expanding the brackets and doing some algebraic rearranging, but I don't think I've got anywhere.
Should I be using induction? Or is this an algebraic problem?

QuantumQuest
Gold Member
My hint is to first prove

##a + b \geq 2\sqrt {ab}##. You can start by using ##(a - b)^2 \geq 0##. If you prove it then see how you can leverage this for the whole expression you want to prove.

EDIT: Your question is not about set theory, logic, probability or statistics so if it is not homework it should be posted in the "General Math" section.

Last edited:
• Delta2
Apply AM-GM on ##2abc+a^2b+ac^2+b^2c+b^2a+bc^2+a^2c##.

• Delta2
Thanks both.

StoneTemplePython
Gold Member
Another common tactic is to start by dealing with the case where one or more variables is zero (i.e. lower bound of real non-negative expression is zero). After that you may assume all a,b, c are positive, then divide them out so all variables are on one side.

In this case you'd take advantage of positivity and divide out ##abc## from each side. With a small bit of insight, you'll see that your problem 1 is just an n =3 case of problem 4.

fresh_42
Mentor
I think ##3(a+b)(b+c)(c+a)=(a+b+c)^3-(a^3+b^3+c^3)## can be of use. At least one doesn't have to deal with so many terms.

Delta2
Homework Helper
Gold Member
I'm trying to do some practice Putnam questions, and I'm stuck on the following:

For ##a,b,c \geq 0##, prove that ##(a+b)(b+c)(c+a) \geq 8abc##

(https://www.math.nyu.edu/~bellova/putnam/putnam09_6.pdf)

I started off by expanding the brackets and doing some algebraic rearranging, but I don't think I've got anywhere.
Should I be using induction? Or is this an algebraic problem?