We’re being asked to determine in which principal quantum number level (or energy level, n) did the electron begin.

We’re going to use the **Balmer Equation** which relates wavelengths to a photon’s electronic transitions.

$\overline{)\frac{\mathbf{1}}{\mathbf{\lambda}}{\mathbf{=}}{{\mathbf{RZ}}}^{{\mathbf{2}}}\left(\frac{\mathbf{1}}{{{\mathbf{n}}^{\mathbf{2}}}_{\mathbf{final}}}\mathbf{-}\frac{\mathbf{1}}{{{\mathbf{n}}^{\mathbf{2}}}_{\mathbf{initial}}}\right)}$

λ = wavelength, m

R = Rydberg constant = 1.097x10^{7} m^{-1}

Z = atomic number of the element

n_{initial }= initial energy level

n_{final} = final energy level

**Calculate the ****initial principal quantum level ****(n _{initial}):**

An excited hydrogen atom emits light with a wavelength of 397.2 nm to reach the energy level for which *n* = 2. In which principal quantum level did the electron begin?

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor McCrory's class at UMICH.

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Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition practice problems.