Reference Point

$c=\lambda v$

Cindy Nguyen 1L
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Reference Point

I would like clarification for something Dr. Lavelle explained during lecture. We were on the slide for calculating deltaE using the empirical equation for an H-atom (-hR/n^2)

Dr. Lavelle explained that the reference point is when the electron is fully removed, and the ground states for elements shouldn't be the reference point because they all would be different? And when the electron is fully removed, they're all the same? I'm confused on what concept we're supposed to understand here as well. What reference point is this in regards to?

Gianna Graziano 1A
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:00 am

Re: Reference Point

Hi Cindy,
I think what Dr. Lavelle was trying to explain here is that this formula can only be used for the spectra of atomic hydrogen. The reference point differs for each element, when that electron is completely removed the energy is at 0. As n approaches infinity, energy approaches 0. So the reference point is in regards to n approaching infinity, and this helps us solve atomic spectra problems.