Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I will explain the following topic:

Rydberg Formula: Understanding the Energy Spectrum of the Hydrogen Atom


Formula: Rydberg energy formula for H atom
Hydrogen atom - term diagram (energy levels)
What do the formula symbols mean?

Binding energy

Energy required to knock an electron, which is in the \( n \)-th state, out of the hydrogen atom. For example, the binding energy of the electron in the ground state is \( n = 1 \): \( 13.6 \, \mathrm{eV} \).

Quantum number

Principal quantum number is an integer indicating an energy level of the H atom. The electron in the H atom can occupy this energy state, which is characterized by \(n\).

Here is:

  • \( n = 1 \) is the ground state.
  • \( n = 2 \) is the first excited state.
  • \( n = 3 \) is the second excited state.
  • and so on...


The Rydberg formula describes the wavelengths \( \lambda\) of lines in the spectrum of the hydrogen atom. However, it also describes the discrete energy levels \( W\) of the hydrogen atom:

Formula anchor Hydrogen atom - term diagram (energy levels)
Hydrogen atom - term diagram (energy levels)
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Formula anchor