Problem: Which electron transition produces light of the highest frequency in the hydrogen atom?a. 2p → 1sb. 4p → 1sc. 3p → 1sd. 5p → 1s

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We’re being asked to determine which transition gives the highest frequency in a hydrogen atom. Recall that starting from n = 1, the distance between each energy level gets smaller as shown below:



All of the given transitions involve going from a higher energy level to a lower energy level: this means emission is involved. Recall that the energy of a photon is given by:



We can see that energy and frequency are directly proportional: higher energy means higher frequency.


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Problem Details

Which electron transition produces light of the highest frequency in the hydrogen atom?

a. 2p → 1s

b. 4p → 1s

c. 3p → 1s

d. 5p → 1s

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