# Homework Help: Math Problem

1. Sep 9, 2015

### pandamonium786

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Evaluate:
6^1 + 6 ^ −1 / 6^1 − 6 ^ −1

2. Relevant equations
Exponent Laws

3. The attempt at a solution
6^1 + 6 ^ −1 / 6^1 − 6 ^ −1
= 6^1 + 6 ^1 / 6^1 − 6 ^ 1 (I flipped the side - top or bottom - of the negative exponent numbers)
=12/0

but i think i did it wrong

2. Sep 9, 2015

### Bystander

Any particular reason?
Yup, I think that also.

3. Sep 9, 2015

### pandamonium786

Well I flipped it because you can't have negative exponents. Also how would you solve the problem?

4. Sep 9, 2015

### Bystander

Planck's constant is 6.626x10-34J⋅s.

5. Sep 9, 2015

### Ray Vickson

Who says you cannot have negative exponents? They occur everywhere, all the time.

Of course, I am not allowed to tell you how I would solve the problem, but I am allowed to give hints. The most important hint I can offer is for you to use parentheses, so you can keep things straight. The way you have written it reads as
$$6^1 + \frac{6^{-1}}{6^1} - 6^{-1}$$
if parsed according to standard rules for reading expressions. However, maybe you mean
$$\frac{6^1 + 6^{-1}}{ 6^1 - 6^{-1}}$$
If the latter is what you want then you should write (6^1 + 6^(-1))/(6^1 - 6^(-1)), or [6^1 + 6^(-1)]/[6^1 - 6^(-1)] if you don't want too many "((" or "))" in a row. Note that I write 6^(-1), and not 6^-1, but those parentheses are probably not as important as the ones that delimit the numerator and denominator.

Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
6. Sep 10, 2015

### HallsofIvy

If your problem was, as Ray Vickson suggests, (6+ 6^(-1))/(6- 6^(-1))= (6+ 1/6)/(6- 1/6) then get rid of those "1/6" fractions by multiplying numerator and denominator by 6