Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: H atom spectrum

  1. Oct 30, 2005 #1

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Theres the question presented to me.

    Now in all my wonderful glory, I enter "8" and boom, I am wrong. Just to be sure... i do 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. None of them work. Then i start thinking... ok it can transfer from n=9 to n=8 to n=3 to n=1... but then that brings up an incredible number of combonations.

    Am I right here with 8 or have i lost all comprehension of the H atom?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2005 #2

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You're right, there's a lot of combinations of "hops" the electron can take in going from n = 9 down to n = 1. But the number of distinct, individual "hops" is actually fairly small. You should be able to enumerate them quickly.
     
  4. Oct 31, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So shouldn't it be roughly a 8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1 deal?
     
  5. Oct 31, 2005 #4

    daniel_i_l

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If I correctly understand the question, you can get the number of wavelengths by:
    [tex] n_{wavelengths} = \frac{n_{level} (n_{level} -1)}{2} [/tex]
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook