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Can someone explain what the Balmer and Lyman series are? I know that the Lyman series corresponds to UV light and the Balmer series corresponds to visible light, but where is this relevant and what does this mean?
The Balman and Lyman Series give you more information about 1) what type of electromagnetic radiation is being emitted 2) what energy level the electron is going to. For Balman series, we know that an electron is making a transition from a higher energy level to n=2, and thus emitting visible light. For Lyman series, an electron makes a transition from a higher energy level to n=1, and thus it emits UV light.
All that they are referring to is a series of wavelengths discovered that are able to be absorbed (and emitted) by a hydrogen atom. Lyman discovered a series of wavelengths that can be absorbed by a hydrogen atom in the UV light range, hence these series of wavelengths are called the Lyman series while Balman is a guy that discovered a series of wavelengths that can be absorbed by a hydrogen atom in the visible light range, hence these series of wavelengths are called the Balman series.
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