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Balmer Series

  1. Apr 30, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Compute to three significant figures the wavelength of the sixth line in the hydrogen Balmer series.

    2. Relevant equations

    1 / lambda = R * ( 1/ n_final^2 - 1 / n_initial^2 )
    R = Rydberg constant = 10973731.57 m^-1
    lambda = wavelength

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I set up the Balmer formula I listed above given the info in the problem

    1 / lambda = (10973731.57 m^-1) * ( 1/ 2^2 - 1 / 6^2 ) = 1 / 2438607.015555 m^-1

    so, lambda = 410.070 nm
    or 4.10 x 10^-7 m using 3 sig figs as the question asks for.

    Not sure what I am doing wrong. This seems right to me, but it is not.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2015 #2

    Quantum Defect

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    Gold Member

    The sixth line means the sixth observed line.

    Here are the transisitons:
    n_i --> n_f
    3--> 2 (first line)
    4--> 2 (second line)
    5--> 2 (third line)
    ....
    Which is the sixth line?
     
  4. Apr 30, 2015 #3
    And the hand meets the forehead....
    It states the 6th line of the Balmer series not the sixth quantum level.
    Thank you for your help, I had a feeling it was something simple.
     
  5. Apr 30, 2015 #4

    Quantum Defect

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    We have all done things like this. :wink:
     
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