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Homework Help: Ionization of an Atom

  1. May 1, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The following diagram represents the allowed electronic energy levels of a hypothetical atom. What frequency photon would be required to ionize this atom if it were already in the n = 2 state?

    [PLAIN]http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/667/picture2vt.png [Broken]

    2. Relevant equations

    E = hf

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Ionizing the atom would require emission of a photon. From the picure, E = 4eV for an emission of a photon:

    4eV = hf
    f= 9.65e14 Hz but this is not the answer. Any suggestions??
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2010 #2


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    You used the correct formula. Did you change eV to J? That is the only way I could see you getting it wrong.
  4. May 2, 2010 #3
    yeah I did 4eV*1.6e-19 to convert it to Joules. Then I divided by planck's constant to get the frequency. This problem seems so easy, but I'm missing something... :\
  5. May 2, 2010 #4


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    What does ionization mean? What is the energy of the electron when the atom is ionized?

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