Chemistry Practice Problems Bohr and Balmer Equations Practice Problems Solution:  What is the largest wavelength in the Balmer seri...

# Solution:  What is the largest wavelength in the Balmer series?

###### Problem

What is the largest wavelength in the Balmer series?

###### Solution

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

$\overline{)\frac{1}{{\lambda }_{max}}{=}{R}{×}\left(\frac{1}{{{n}_{f}}^{2}}-\frac{1}{{{n}_{i}}^{2}}\right)}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$

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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