### Rydberg's Formula

Posted:

**Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:19 pm**The numbers involved in Rydberg's formula v = R{(1/n1^2)-(1/n2^2)} make sense to me, but, in words, what does the formula tell you?

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

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

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=22065

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Posted: **Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:19 pm**

The numbers involved in Rydberg's formula v = R{(1/n1^2)-(1/n2^2)} make sense to me, but, in words, what does the formula tell you?

Posted: **Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:35 pm**

By looking at all of the lines in the spectrum of hydrogen atoms, an empirical model was derived that explains emission patterns of hydrogen atoms. The frequencies (or wavelength or energy) could be predicted based upon the Rydberg constant and two integers. One integer is meant to represent the initial energy state and the other integer is meant to represent the final energy state. The frequency (or wavelength or energy) was related to the change that occurred between these two energy states.

Posted: **Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:51 pm**

The formula basically relates the wavelength to the initial and final states of an electron. We can find the inverse of the wavelength by multiplying Rydberg's constant by the change in energy of the electron.

Posted: **Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:08 pm**

This formula ties into the wavelength series, such as Lyman: n=1, Balmer: n=2, and Pashen: n=3. Your n initial and n final will correlate to these series.

Posted: **Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:16 pm**

When do we know to us the ryberg constant 2.178 x10^-18 vs 3.29x 10^15. I understand that the first one is R times planck's constant but I don't understand how to choose which to pick?