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### Balmer vs Lyman series

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:14 pm
Hello there!

I understand the absorption level diagram being essentially the same thing as orbitals in electron shells, but I'm having trouble relating it to the Balmer and Lyman series.
For 1A.11, the question states "In the spectrum of atomic hydrogen, several lines are generally classified together as belonging to a series (for example, Balmer series or Lyman series, as shown in Fig. 1A.10). What is common to the lines within a series that makes grouping them together logical?"

I had thought the answer had to do with their wavelengths, since balmer is within visible light and lyman is within uv light, but how come the answer has to do with the absorption levels?

Sorry if this is an easy concept, I am still quite lost on quantum D":

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman series

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:19 pm
I don't think it would be related to wavelength because the wavelengths of visible light all differ depending on what color light it is. So, the problem groups the series based on their absorption level because all the lines in the Lyman Series will always transition to/from n=1 and all the lines in the Balmer Series will transition to/from n=2. So, since visible light is a part of the Balmer Series, no matter what color light it is, the lower energy level will always be n=2.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman series

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:21 pm
Hi! Balmer series correspond to the principal energy level n=2 and the Lyman series correspond to the principal energy level n=1, which would make grouping them together logical.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman series

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:29 pm
The Balmer series includes the wavelengths of light emitted when an electron falls from an outer energy level to n=2 and Lyman series is the same except for the electron falls to n=1 instead.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman series

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:51 pm
The respective series form because the electron absorption "pathways" all have the lowest energy level (n) involved. For the Lyman series n=1, and the Balmer series has electrons starting from n=2.