### Utilization of Rydberg formula

Posted:

**Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:40 pm**Question: What is the Rydberg formula? When is it used, and what does "n" mean?

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=118&t=1151

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Posted: **Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:40 pm**

Question: What is the Rydberg formula? When is it used, and what does "n" mean?

Posted: **Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:40 pm**

Answer: In a model of a hydrogen atom where n means the energy level (n=1 is the ground state where the electron is closest to the nucleus; n=2 is an excited state where the electron is farther from the nucleus; n=3 is another excited state where the electron is even farther from the nucleus...), you can use the Rydberg formula to estimate the energy (or the wavelength or the frequency) that an electron needs to absorb in order to jump from one n to another n. For example, for a jump from n=1 to n=4, you would plug n=1 in for one n in the equation, and n=4 in for the other n. Note that if your electron is jumping from a lower n to a higher n, then the electron must absorb some energy: the energy would be positive. If your electron is jumping down from some high n to a lower n, then the electron must release some energy: the energy would be negative.

Posted: **Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:10 pm**

There also are two series that were mentioned in the course reader (Balmer and Lyman). These are two series on the emissions spectra. I believe we don't have to know exact values for these series, but the names stemmed from the machinery and labs that they were discovered/recorded. Just thought this was interesting, even if it isn't specific to our quiz material.