Rydberg equation

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Artin Allahverdian 2H
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

Rydberg equation

Postby Artin Allahverdian 2H » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:26 pm

If an electron jumping to higher energy levels indicates that there is more positive energy, then why is the value for E sub n in the Rydberg equation still a negative value?

Amy Lefley 1J
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Rydberg equation

Postby Amy Lefley 1J » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:29 pm

This is simply a convention. A free electron or one that is no longer attracted to the nucleus of an atom can be said to have zero energy. As an electron goes down in energy levels, the energy becomes more negative. That is why there is a negative sign in the Rydberg equation.

Karina Koo 2H
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Rydberg equation

Postby Karina Koo 2H » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:29 am

It's because the E in the Rydberg equation is measuring the amount of energy released when the electron jumps down to a lower energy level. The electron is losing energy, hence the negative value.

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