Problem:  What is the largest wavelength in the Balmer series?

FREE Expert Solution

We can determine the largest wavelength, λmax in the Balmer series using the Balmer Equation shown below:


1λmax=R×1nf2-1ni2

where: 

λmax = wavelength, m corresponding to lowest principal initial energy level,   ↓nλ

R = 1.0974 x 107m-1 (Rydberg Constant)      **value can be found in textbooks or online 
ni = initial principal energy level  
nf = final principal energy level = 2 for Balmer Series 


Recall that for the Balmer series the final principal energy level nf is always = 2. 

The largest wavelength, λmax will be the maximum wavelength corresponding to the lowest initial energy level, ni = 3  for a Hydrogen atom.  Recall that the lowest transition releases the lowest energy, E and will occur from n = 2 to n = 3 (next energy level).  

Energy, E is inversely proportional to the wavelength, λ↓E, ↓niλ


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 What is the largest wavelength in the Balmer series?