Rydberg, Johannes Robert

Rydberg, Johannes Robert

(yo͞o`hänəs rô`bərt rüd`bĕryə), 1854–1919, Swedish physicist. Rydberg was a professor at Lund from 1901 to 1919. He is best known for his grouping of the frequencies of certain lines of the emission spectra of the elements into simple series characterized by a running integer and a universal "Rydberg" constant. These series helped guide the development of atomic physics. Rydberg also wrote on the structure of the periodic tableperiodic table,
chart of the elements arranged according to the periodic law discovered by Dmitri I. Mendeleev and revised by Henry G. J. Moseley. In the periodic table the elements are arranged in columns and rows according to increasing atomic number (see the table entitled
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 of the elements.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rydberg, Johannes Robert


Born Nov. 8, 1854, in Halmstad; died Dec. 28, 1919, in Lund. Swedish physicist.

After graduating from the University of Lund in 1879, Rydberg became a docent at the university; he became a professor in 1901. His main work was devoted to D. I. Mendeleev’s periodic system of the elements and to atomic spectra. Rydberg showed that the position of the lines in atomic emission spectra may be described by equations analogous to the Balmer equation for the spectrum of hydrogen. The constant introduced into these equations is called the Rydberg constant.


“Recherches sur la constitution des spectres d’émission des éléments chimiques.” Kunglige Svenska vetenskapsakademiens Handlinger, 1890, vol. 23, no. 11.


Ostwald’s Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften. Leipzig, 1922. No. 196.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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