An excited hydrogen atom emits light with a frequency of 1.141 multiplied by 1014 Hz to reach the energy level for which n = 4. In what principal quantum level did the electron begin?

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- Sep 7th 2008, 05:37 PMtrancefanaticUniv. Chemistry Word Problem -- Atomic Properties
An excited hydrogen atom emits light with a frequency of 1.141 multiplied by 1014 Hz to reach the energy level for which n = 4. In what principal quantum level did the electron begin?

- Sep 7th 2008, 05:48 PMo_O
Balmer's formula: $\displaystyle \frac{1}{\lambda} = R \left(\frac{1}{n_{f}^2} - \frac{1}{n_{i}^2}\right)$

You have $\displaystyle \frac{1}{\lambda}$ (can figure out the frequency), R (the Rydberg constant), and $\displaystyle n_{f}$ the final energy level of the electron.

Just a matter of algebra from here to solve for $\displaystyle n_{i}$.