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In class today Lavelle was talking about how he would not like us to use the Rydberg formula I believe? He said something about how it didn't help us understand physically what was happening. Can someone elaborate what he meant by that and what formula he wan'ts us to use instead? Thank you so much.
The Rydberg formula does not give the best explanation for its own use, however, it is one specific scenario. If you are given an electron that jumps from one level to another, and you are told to find the frequency, you can find it easily with that equation.
In essence, Rydberg formula is best used to find the frequency between energy levels and is derived from the energy formula of En=-hR/n^2. Use the energy formula when you want to find the energy at a specific energy level or the difference of energy levels (where you would use Energy(final)-Energy(initial)).
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