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I can't seem to know when to use the H-atom spectrum formula and the Rydberg equation, since they both include the final and initial energy levels. For example, I used the H-atom spectrum for question #1A. 13, but you're supposed to use the Rydberg equation instead...
They are essentially the same equation. The Rydberg equation is simply derived from using the H-atom equation twice, with the final and initial n values. You can use either and get the same answer, however Prof Lavelle suggested using the H-atom equation because it is easier to understand than trying to plug values into the Rydberg equation. Remember, final minus initial and you should be good!
Yes, both equations will essentially give you the same result. Dr. Lavelle suggested using the H-atom equation because it really helps you see whats going on during the transitions, and how the energy is affected. This will allow you to understand the fact that energy is emitted (and thus lost) when the electron falls to a lower energy level. Whereas with the Rydberg equation, you are plugging in numbers without entirely understanding the significance. I'm sure that once you completely understand the concepts, you can use the Rydberg equation.
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