**(a)**

$\begin{array}{rcl}\mathbf{a}& \mathbf{=}& {\mathbf{a}}_{\mathbf{1}}\mathbf{}\mathbf{+}\mathbf{}\frac{\mathbf{F}}{\mathbf{m}}\\ & \mathbf{=}& \frac{\mathbf{m}{\mathbf{a}}_{\mathbf{1}}\mathbf{+}\mathbf{F}}{\mathbf{m}}\\ & \mathbf{=}& \frac{\mathbf{m}{\mathbf{a}}_{\mathbf{1}}}{\mathbf{m}}\mathbf{+}\frac{\mathbf{F}}{\mathbf{m}}\end{array}$

A student solving for the acceleration of an object has applied appropriate physics principles and obtained the expression *a* = *a*_{1} + *F*/*m* where *a*_{1} = 3.00 m/s^{2}, *F* = 12.0 kg•m/s^{2} and *m* = 7.00 kg.**(a)** First, which of the following is the correct step for obtaining a common denominator for the two fractions in the expression in solving for *a*?

**(b)** What is the numerical value of a?

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