• anonymous
reduce the rational expression to lowest terms: 81a^4 - 1 / 3a - 1
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  • anonymous
You should try to factor the top and factor the bottom. 81a^4 - 1 is the difference of 2 squares (9a^2)^2 - (1)^2 = (9a^2 + 1)(9a^2 - 1) however, the (9a^2 - 1) is also the difference of 2 squares so the top factors into (9a^2 + 1)(3a + 1)(3a - 1) all over (3a-1) The 3a - 1 's cancel and you are left with (9a^2 + 1)(3a + 1) as the answer... Depending upon what they want you could foil this back out and get 27a^3 + 9a^2 + 3a + 1

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