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Atomic Spectra

Atoms give off light when heated or otherwise excited. The light emitted by excited atoms consists of only a few wavelengths, rather than a full rainbow of colors. When this light is passed through a prism, the result is a series of discrete lines separated by blank areas. The visible lines in the series of the hydrogen spectrum are caused by emission of energy accompanying the fall of an electron from the outer shells to the second shell. The wavelength (λ) of the lines can be calculated using the Balmer-Rydberg equation

1λ=R(1m2−1n2)

where m is an integer, n is an integer greater than m, and R=1.097×10−2 nm−1 is the Rydberg constant.

In the Balmer-Rydberg equation, what value of m is used to determine the wavelengths of the Balmer series?

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Posted on October 3, 2013, in Question and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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