Lesson 14, Topic 2
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Hydrogen Spectrum

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Swiss school teacher Johann J. Balmer created a formula which correctly predicted the wavelengths for four visible emission lines of hydrogen.

Rydberg’s Equation

Swedish physicist Johannes Rydberg created a generalised version of Balmer’s formula to predict all of the hydrogen emission series.

\frac{1}{\lambda}=R\Big [\frac{1}{n_f^2}-\frac{1}{n_i^2}\Big ]

Conservation of Energy

If an electron moves from one stable orbit ni to a lower stable orbit nf, it must emit the energy difference as a photon. In the same way, an electron may only move up an energy level by absorbing the energy, i.e. from a photon.