A piece of the original document detailing the Rydberg formula in 1888. |

The spectrum are the wavelengths of photons emitted when electrons jump between discrete energy levels, "shells" around the atom of a certain chemical element.

The fomula was invented by the Swedish physicist Janne Rydberg and presented on November 5, 1888.

- is the wavelength of the light emitted in vacuum.
- is the Rydberg constant for hydrogen.
- and are integers such that .

Name |
Converge toward |
||

1 | Lyman series | 91nm | |

2 | Balmer series | 365nm | |

3 | Paschen series | 821nm |

The formula above can be extended for use with any chemical element.

- is the wavelength of the light emitted in vacuum
- is the Rydberg constant for this element.
- is the atomic number i.e. number of protons in the atomic nucleus of this element.
- and are integers such that .