Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 30 - Think and Explain: 81

Answer

There would be only 3 spectral lines.

Work Step by Step

These were the six possibilities before, listed by initial and final quantum levels: 4 to 3 4 to 2 4 to 1 3 to 2 3 to 1 2 to 1 Here is the modified list when the energy levels are spaced equally from adjacent ones. There are just 3 distinct spectral lines. 4 to 3 = 3 to 2 = 2 to 1 4 to 2 = 3 to 1 4 to 1 The transition from 4 to 3 has the same difference in energy as that from 3 to 2 and from 2 to 1. So, the emitted photons all have the same energy, and there is just one spectral line. Similarly, the transition from 4 to 2 has the same energy change as a transition from 3 to 1.
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