### Is there ever a negative frequency

Posted:

**Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:27 pm**For Rydberg's equation should the answer ever be negative? What if you go from n=4 to n=2 or n=3 to n=5?

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

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

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=34698

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Posted: **Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:27 pm**

For Rydberg's equation should the answer ever be negative? What if you go from n=4 to n=2 or n=3 to n=5?

Posted: **Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:54 pm**

There is no such thing as a negative wavelength or frequency. The negative sign you may calculate using Rydberg's equation is simply a representation of energy being either released or emitted and can be ignored in terms of frequency. Going from n=4 to n=2 emits energy, so the equation yields a negative answer. But, again, you can ignore this if you are trying to calculate frequency or wavelength.