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I am having trouble understanding the model depicted in the course reader. I understand that it has to do with electrons, but what exactly is happening? Why are the arrows pointing downwards and why are they of different lengths and at different levels? What is "hR"? Help would be appreciated, thank you!
The arrows are representing the electrons dropping from an excited state and based off of how far they drop will determine how much energy is given off, creating a certain color based on the element. I know R is the Rydberg Constant and that formula can only be used to determine the frequency of light for an H-atom, so I believe it stands for Hydrogen. I hope this helped.
When the energy of a photon matches the energy difference between quantum levels, (which are represented by the lines shown in the model below), electrons will get excited and move to the next level. The arrows are pointing downwards as the model is showing the emission of energy as electrons return from an excited state to ground state. The energy of the electron in a Hydrogen emission spectrum can be described by the equation En= -hR/n^2. The h in this equation stands for Planck's constant.
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