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Homework Help: Calculating the energy of a hydrogen atom

  1. Oct 8, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A sample of hydrogen atoms are all in the n=5 state. If all the atoms return to the ground state, how many different photon energies will be emitted , assuming all possible transitions occur?

    2. Relevant equations
    possible equation: E= hc/lambda =(E(initial) -E(final)) .
    1/lambda = R*(1/m^2-(1/n^2))

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Not sure where to begin on this problem, but I suspect I should find the energy of the hydrogen atom between the transitons of the two state. I know n=1 for the ground state.

    1/lambda=1.097*10^7*(1/1^2-(1/5^2))

    Not sure how to find the Number of photon energies :(
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2007 #2
    why hasn't anyone answer my question
     
  4. Oct 9, 2007 #3

    learningphysics

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    Homework Helper

    Wouldn't you just have 1 possible transition for every 2 states... so using combinations wouldn't the answer be 5 choose 2?
     
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