Homework Problem A11

H-Atom ($E_{n}=-\frac{hR}{n^{2}}$)

Michael Du 1E
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:16 am

Homework Problem A11

For this problem, the question is "In the spectrum of atomic hydrogen, several lines are generally classified together as belonging to a series (For example, Balmer series or Lyman series). What is common to the lines within a series that makes grouping them together logical?". Can anyone please explain to me why the lower energy level is n =1 for the Lyman series and n = 2 for the Balmer series (according to the solutions manual)? thank you!

Deepika Reddy 1A
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Homework Problem A11

I believe the Lyman series is the ultraviolet one, which is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with the highest energy/frequency. Since n=1 has the farthest gap from the other levels, an electron requires a lot more energy to jump up or has to emit a lot more energy to drop down, so it corresponds to the Lyman series.

AKatukota
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Homework Problem A11

For the Lyman series, the lower energy level is n=1. For the Balmer series it is n=2.

Sydney Myers 4I
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Homework Problem A11

The gaps between energy levels get larger the further from the nucleus you go, so the jumps (or emissions) with the largest energy will have to do with the largest gap because it would require the most energy to jump. Since the largest gap will always involve n=1, it is said to be associated with the Lyman series. The Lyman series is the set of emissions with the highest energy and therefore smallest wavelength (they're classified as uv radiation). As for the Balmer series, it's the grouping of emissions with the second shortest wavelength (and second highest energy) and it's associated with the second largest jump an electron can make. The second largest gap is from n=3 to n=2, so this series involves the energy level of n=2.