## Question about n1 and n2

Yuchien Ma 2L
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:58 pm

### Question about n1 and n2

What is n1 and n2 in the Rydberg Equation?
Is n1 the initial energy level and n2 the final energy level?
If I do that then sometimes I'd end up with a negative frequency.

Alexa_Kwang_1D
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:00 pm

### Re: Question about n1 and n2

Yes n1 is the initial energy level and n2 is the final energy level. Both n1 and n2 are integers (1, 2, 3, 4...) and n2>n1.

Simon Kapler 3I
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:01 am

### Re: Question about n1 and n2

I'm not sure if this comparison is 100% accurate, but it's what I use to think of energy levels.

"n" is a possible position for an electron relative to the nucleus of the atom. Since the two are attracted to each other (electrons are negatively charged and protons are positively charged), energy is required to move an electron farther away from the nucleus. The idea we were discussing about energy being quantized basically means that electrons can only exist at certain distances from the nucleus, not just any distance. So n=1 is the closest possible position, n=2 is the second closest, and so on.

TiengTum2D
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:00 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

### Re: Question about n1 and n2

Professor Lavelle said "n1 will be the final energy level the electron is at, where n2 will be the initial. Remember the electrons will move from a higher energy state to a lower energy state." Those 2 links might help you all understand them a little better.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15418

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5529

Yuchien Ma 2L
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:58 pm

### Re: Question about n1 and n2

Thanks a lot for the clarification!!