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Homework Help: Electronic transition; Emission Spectra

  1. Oct 13, 2013 #1


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    Gold Member

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A photon emitted during an electronic transition in a hydrogen atom has a wavelength of 486.2
    nm. From what initial energy level (ni) did the electron transition?

    2. Relevant equations

    Energy = hc/wavelength (h = Planck's constant; c is speed of light; and wavelength is 486.2 nm or 486.2 x 10^-9 meters).

    Energy = Rydberg's constant(1/n-final^2 - 1/n-initial^2)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I calculated the energy but I I can't solve for two variables at once in one equation. How am I supposed to find the initial energy level when I have the final energy level?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    An iterative search would soon find the levels ... a small computer program!
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