Lyman vs. Balmer vs. Paschen vs. Brackett?

Erin Li 1K
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

Lyman vs. Balmer vs. Paschen vs. Brackett?

What are the differences between these three series and how do I tell the difference between them?

For example, in problem 1.13 problem b, why is the answer Balmer?

Marisol Sanchez - 1E
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Lyman vs. Balmer vs. Paschen vs. Brackett?

The difference between these series is the initial energy level that they begin with. For the Lyman series, the lower energy level is always n = 1, Balmar series is n = 2, Paschen series is n = 3, and Brackett series is n = 4. The final energy level can vary but the initial will always determine what series it comes from. I believe each series is also associated with a particular region of the light spectrum but I am not sure about who is related to which but the energy levels are correct.

Kuldeep Gill 1H
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Lyman vs. Balmer vs. Paschen vs. Brackett?

I thought that they were defined by the final energy level not the initial so for the Lyman series it can start at any level but ends at level 1... can anyone clear this up??

Patience Olsen 1A
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Lyman vs. Balmer vs. Paschen vs. Brackett?

The last comment is correct. Series are defined by the amount of energy they contain, and wavelengths in the Lyman series, for example, are grouped together because the light has enough energy to reduce an electron to its ground state (n=1). The Lyman series represents the UV spectrum, Balmer represents the visible light spectrum, and both the Paschen and Brackett series fall in the infrared spectrum.