### Balmer series vs Lyman series

Posted:

**Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:41 pm**Can someone explain to me when to use the Balmer series and when to use the Lyman series as the textbook doesn't necessarily specify. Thanks!

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

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https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=33398

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Posted: **Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:41 pm**

Can someone explain to me when to use the Balmer series and when to use the Lyman series as the textbook doesn't necessarily specify. Thanks!

Posted: **Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:50 pm**

I think you use the Balmer series when n = 2, so electrons are in the second energy level, and the Lyman series when n = 1, so electrons are in ground state.

Posted: **Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:31 pm**

To add on, don't forget that the Balmer series represents the visible region and that the Lyman series represents the ultraviolet region!

Posted: **Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:15 pm**

The main difference between the two series is the quantum levels they encompass. The Lyman series includes quantum level one which is why ultraviolet radiation is observed within this series(the leap from n=1 to n=2 realeses more energy than any other quantum jump that is why the radiation is uv.) On the other hand, the Balmer series includes n=2 to n=infinity which is why visible slight can be measured through this series.

Posted: **Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:08 pm**

That would be based on which energy level the electron is currently at and where it's going to go. The Lyman series is based on Ultraviolet light which entitles a larger change in energy from level 1. On the other hand, the Balmer series are frequency and wavelengths relevant to Visible light and level 2.