Please help me figure out how to simplify the above

Amanda

Its a little difficult deciphering your notation, but assuming the expression is

**(a**, you can simplify as follows:^{1/2}b)^{1/2}ab^{1/2}First distribute the exponent to the upper right of the first parenthesis (1/2), by raising each term inside to the power shown of 1/2. Note that when raising a variable with an existing exponent to another exponent, the exponents should be multiplied.
So

**a**. The resulting expression is as follows:^{1/2 raised to 1/2}equals a^{1/2*1/2}or a^{1/4}**a**^{1/4}b^{1/2}ab^{1/2}Next reorder to bring "like" variables together:

**a**^{1/4}ab^{1/2}b^{1/2}Finally complete the multiplication of "like" variables by

**adding**the exponents:**a**^{(1/4+1)}**b**^{(1/2+1/2)}Since 1/4 + 1=4/4+1/4=5/4 and 1/2+1/2=1, the final result is

**a**^{5/4}bHope this helps!!