Problem: Which electronic transition in the hydrogen atom results in the emission of light of the shortest wavelength?A. n = 4 to n = 3B. n = 1 to n = 2C. n = 1 to n = 6D. n = 3 to n = 1E. n = 2 to n = 1

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We’re being asked to determine which transition results in the emission of light with the shortest wavelength. Recall that starting from n = 1, the distance between each energy level gets smaller as shown below:



Emission is a transition process from a higher energy level to a lower energy level. This rules out choices B and C. Recall that the energy of a photon is given by:



We can see that energy and frequency are directly proportional. The energy in a transition also depends on the distance between the energy levels.


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Problem Details

Which electronic transition in the hydrogen atom results in the emission of light of the shortest wavelength?

A. n = 4 to n = 3

B. n = 1 to n = 2

C. n = 1 to n = 6

D. n = 3 to n = 1

E. n = 2 to n = 1

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