Balmer Series

1. Apr 30, 2015

JJK1503

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. Apr 30, 2015

Quantum Defect

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?

3. Apr 30, 2015

JJK1503

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.

4. Apr 30, 2015

Quantum Defect

We have all done things like this.