# What Wavelength of Light is Needed to Ionize an Electron at n=2 in Hydrogen?

• Julian Rose
In summary, the equations relevant to finding the necessary wavelength of light to ionize an electron in a hydrogen atom at n = 2 are E=hc/λ and -2.18 x 10-18 J((Z^2/n final^2)-(Z^2/n initial^2)). To calculate this, one must use the values of h (Plank's constant), c (speed of light), Z (atomic number), and n (energy state) for the hydrogen atom. Ionization refers to the removal of an electron from an atom or molecule, and in this case, the question asks for the energy needed to remove an electron from an already excited hydrogen atom at the n=2 orbital and convert it into a wavelength
Julian Rose
What wavelength of light ,λ, would be necessary to ionize an electron at n = 2 in a hydrogen atom?

In my notes there are two equations that seem relevant to my question they are:

E=hc/λ and -2.18 x 10-18 J((Z^2/n final^2)-(Z^2/n initial^2))

where h is planks constant, c is the speed of light, Z is the atomic number of the element, in my case hydrogen, and n is the state the electron is in. I think it means energy state.

I tried to think of something, but I don't know. What does it mean by ionizing an electron??

Julian Rose said:
...I tried to think of something, but I don't know. What does it mean by ionizing an electron??

It should have been worded "ionizing a hydrogen atom", as ionization is defined as the removal of an electron from an atom or molecule. So your question asks you to calculate how much energy does it take to completely remove an electron from hydrogen that has its electron already excited to the n=2 orbital and then convert that energy into a wavelength of light.

## 1. How does light ionize an electron?

When light, which is made up of photons, interacts with an atom, it can transfer its energy to an electron in the atom. This energy can be enough to free the electron from its orbit around the atom's nucleus, resulting in ionization.

## 2. What is the process of ionizing an electron with light called?

The process of ionizing an electron with light is called photoionization. It is also sometimes referred to as photoemission or the photoelectric effect.

## 3. What happens to the ionized electron after it is freed by light?

After being ionized, the electron is free to move around and can contribute to electrical conductivity. It may also be captured by another atom, resulting in chemical reactions.

## 4. Can all types of light ionize an electron?

No, only certain types of light, specifically those with high enough energy levels, can ionize an electron. This includes ultraviolet (UV) light, X-rays, and gamma rays. Visible light and infrared light do not have enough energy to cause ionization.

## 5. What are some applications of ionizing electrons with light?

One important application is in photovoltaic cells, where light energy is used to ionize electrons and create an electric current. Ionization of electrons is also used in various types of detectors, such as Geiger counters and particle accelerators.

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