Q:

What is the Rydberg equation?

A:

The Rydberg Equation, or Rydberg Formula, predicts the light wavelength that results from the motion of an electron between an atom's different energy levels. Electron movement from one atomic orbital to another changes the energy of that electron.

When electrons shift from high energy orbitals to lower states of energy, the process creates a photon of light; conversely, movement from low-energy to high-energy orbitals absorbs a photon of light. Every element has its own fingerprint on the spectrum, which means that observing the photons of light through a diffraction grating or prism reveals the specific element involved in the reaction, through a series of colored lines.

Johannes Rydberg, a Swedish scientist, attempted to discover the mathematical relationship between successive lines on the spectrum of different elements. He discovered that the wavenumbers of consecutive lines had an integral relationship. Combining this with the Bohr model of the atom, he derived the formula (1/lambda) = RZ^2(1/n1^2 - 1/n2^2), in which lambda is the wavelength (the inverse of the wavenumber), Z is the atom's atomic number, R is Rydberg's constant (1.9073731568539 * 10^7 m^(-1), and n1 and n2 are integers, with n2 larger than n1. While this formula works well with small numbers of electrons, as with hydrogen (which only features one electron), atoms that have multiple electrons cause the formula to produce errors.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a forward reaction?

    A:

    A forward reaction is a reversible reaction in which reactants produce products, and a reverse reaction turns those products into their original reactants. There are also nonreversible reactions, in which products are formed, reactants are completely consumed and the process ends.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the formula for bromine gas?

    A:

    The chemical formula for the bromine gas is Br2. This signifies that the bromine molecule contains only two "Br" atoms, which form a covalent bond between them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which property would be classified as expendable?

    A:

    Expendable property is property that gets completely consumed through use or property that loses its identity after it is used. For example, a ream of printer paper gets completely used up after it has been printed on, so it no longer serves its function after use, which means it is expendable property.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How is the sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide neutralization written?

    A:

    The chemical equation for the neutralization of sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide can be written as H2SO4 + 2NaOH —> 2H2O + 2NaSO4. The equation shows that sulfuric acid has an equivalent value of 2, which means that one molecule of H2SO4 can neutralize 2 molecules of a base, such as sodium hydroxide, which has an equivalent value of 1. The neutralization equation also represents one of the production processes that produces sodium sulfate, the sodium salt of sulfuric acid and is used to neutralize surplus sulfuric acid by sodium hydroxide during the making of rayon.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore