
Monochromatic homothetic copies\\ of $\{1,1+s,1+s+t\}$
For positive integers $s$ and $t$, let $f(s, t)$ denote the smallest positive
integer $N$ such that every $2$colouring of $[1,N]=\{1,2, \ldots , N\}$ has
a monochromatic homothetic copy of $\{1, 1+s, 1+s+t\}$.
We show that $f(s, t) = 4(s+t) + 1$ whenever $s/g$ and $t/g$ are not
congruent to $0$ (modulo $4$), where $g=\gcd(s,t)$. This can be viewed as
a generalization of part of van~der~Waerden's theorem on
arithmetic progressions, since the $3$term arithmetic progressions are the
homothetic copies of $\{1, 1+1, 1+1+1\}$. We also show that $f(s, t) = 4(s+t)
+ 1$ in many other cases (for example, whenever $s > 2t > 2$ and $t$ does not
divide $s$), and that $f(s, t) \le 4(s+t) + 1$ for all $s$, $t$.
Thus the set of homothetic copies of $\{1, 1+s, 1+s+t\}$ is a set of
triples with a particularly simple Ramsey function (at least for the case
of two colours), and one wonders what other ``natural'' sets of triples,
quadruples, {\it etc.}, have simple (or easily estimated) Ramsey functions.
Category:05D10 