# Wavelength of Photons: 3-2 Transition

• VanessaN
In summary, the conversation was about determining the energy levels of photons in a given line transition based on wavelength and change in energy. The correct equation to use is the Rydberg formula, and the result should be a small integer. Units are important in calculations to get a correct answer.
VanessaN

## Homework Statement

Between which energy levels are the photons in this line transitioning?

Wavelength= 660 * 10^-9 m
Change in energy = 3.01 * 10^-9

A. 4 and 2
B. 3 and 2
C. 3 and 1
D. 2 and 1

## Homework Equations

E is energy, h is Planck's constant (6.63 x 10-34 J s), f is frequency, c is the speed of light (3.00* 10^8 m/s), and λ is wavelength.

## The Attempt at a Solution

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Ok, so I could solve for frequency using either of these equations with the given info, but how would that help me determine which energy levels the photons are transitioning from?

Answer: The photon with the lowest energy and longest wavelength corresponds to the 3 to 2 transition.
(there were 3 other lines of given data, the line in this question was the lowest energy and longest wavelength)
How can you tell that the photon with the lowest energy and longest wavelength corresponds to the 3 to 2 transition?

Last edited by a moderator:
Hint: none of the equations you listed is the one you need.

Do you know of any equation that uses energy level numbers (principal quantum numbers) to calculate wavelength (or frequency) of the photon?

E= - Rh/ n^2,

where E is the energy of the electron and Rh is the Rydberg constant (2.18 * 10^-18)

3.01 * 10^-9= -(2.18 * 10^-18)/ n^2
n^2= 7.24 * 10^-10
n= 2.69 * 10^-5

I don't really know of other equations to use :(

Rydberg is a correct name, but the formula you have used is not the one you need (although it is a specific version of the correct one). Please recheck your notes or book. Or visit wikipedia.

Thank you. maybe this equation:
Energy of electron transition= -Rh ( 1/ ni^2 - 1/ nf^2)
where ni and nf are the intial and final principal quantum numbers3.01 * 10^-9= -(2.18 * 10^-18) * (1/ ni^2 - 1/ nf^2)

3.01 * 10^-9= -(2.18 * 10^-18) * (1/ 3^2 - 1/ nf^2)

3.01 * 10^-9= -(2.18 * 10^-18) * (1/ 9 - 1/ nf^2)

-7.24 * 10^-10= (1/ 9 - 1/ nf^2)

-7.24 * 10^-10= 1/ 9 - 1/ nf^2

-6.52 * 10^-9= - 1/ nf^2

153414882.8= nf^2

nf= 12386

Last edited:
Yes, Rydberg formula is definitely the one to use.

The result you got is wrong, which is rather obvious - the answer should be a small integer. It is hard to say what went wrong, my bet is that you have use incorrect units. Hard to tell not seeing them, please always list units in your calculations, as they are a key to getting a correct answer.

Between which energy levels of what ?

my2cts said:
Between which energy levels of what ?

Energy levels of an electron... I was just copying down the question :)

The energy you calculated (I'm assuming it's in units of joules) is ##10^{10}## times too large.

## 1. What is the 3-2 transition in terms of wavelength of photons?

The 3-2 transition refers to a specific energy level transition in an atom or molecule, where an electron moves from the third energy level to the second energy level. This transition results in the emission or absorption of a photon with a specific wavelength.

## 2. How is the wavelength of photons in a 3-2 transition determined?

The wavelength of photons in a 3-2 transition is determined by the energy difference between the third and second energy levels. This energy difference corresponds to a specific frequency, which can be converted to a wavelength using the formula λ = c/ν, where λ is wavelength, c is the speed of light, and ν is frequency.

## 3. What factors influence the wavelength of photons in a 3-2 transition?

The wavelength of photons in a 3-2 transition is primarily influenced by the energy levels of the atom or molecule involved. Other factors that can affect the wavelength include the presence of external forces, such as magnetic fields, and the properties of the medium through which the photons are traveling.

## 4. Why is the 3-2 transition important in the study of light and spectroscopy?

The 3-2 transition is important because it is a commonly occurring energy level transition in atoms and molecules, and it results in the emission or absorption of photons in the visible or near-infrared range. This makes it an ideal transition to study when using spectroscopy to analyze the composition and properties of substances.

## 5. Can the wavelength of photons in a 3-2 transition be altered?

Yes, the wavelength of photons in a 3-2 transition can be altered by changing the energy levels of the atom or molecule through various methods, such as introducing external forces or changing the temperature. However, the energy difference between the third and second energy levels remains constant, so the wavelength will still fall within a specific range determined by this energy difference.

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