okay, um i simplified the problem and got it down to 6a^6/6a^3. i know to cancel out the 6 but can't i simplify a^6/a^3 to a^2 ??????
$\displaystyle \frac{a^6}{a^3} \neq a^2 $
Why do you think the answer is $\displaystyle a^2$?
When you multiply or divide two terms with the same base (in your example you are dividing two terms, both of base "a", so they are the same) you will ADD or SUBTRACT the powers of the base. For division, which ever had the higher power (numerator or denominator) will be where the positive base ends up. That is, if m > n,
$\displaystyle \frac{a^m}{a^n} = a^{m-n} $
if m < n, then
$\displaystyle \frac{a^m}{a^n} = \frac{1}{a^{n-m}} $
Another way to see this is to think of $\displaystyle \frac{a^6}{a^3}$ as $\displaystyle \frac{aaaaaa}{aaa}$ cancel. The three "a"s in the denominator cancel three "a"s in the numerator, leaving three:$\displaystyle \frac{a^6}{a^3}= \frac{aaaaaa}{aaa}= a^3$
Blast! QM deFuturo got in 2 minutes ahead of me!