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Postby ClaireHW » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:54 pm

Question: In the spectrum of atomic hydrogen, several lines are generally classified together as belonging to a series (for example, Balmer series, Lyman series, Paschen series), as shown in Figs. 1.10 and 2.1. What is common to the lines within a series that makes grouping them together logical?

I am confused about how we know that the Lyman series shows the lowest energy level, n=1, etc. What about these series tells us what energy level they are? Also, if the series represent one energy level, why are multiple lines shown?

(Claire Woolson Dis. 3J)

Ethan-Van To Dis2L
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Re: 1.11

Postby Ethan-Van To Dis2L » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:59 pm

We know that the Lyman series begins with n=1 simply because a physicist, Theodore Lyman, studied the ultraviolet spectrum of hydrogen gas. I think it would be too complicated for the book to explain how he came up with n=1 so it is simply told to us. We can differentiate between different series by look at the lowest n-value. Lyman series would have n=1, Balmer series would have n=2, etc. Multiple lines are shown because of the different jumps of electrons. For example one line may appear from a jump from n=1 to n=2. Another line would appear from n=1 to n=3, and so on.

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