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Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:19 pm
I am having trouble with this question: 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 the common to the lines within a series that makes grouping them together logical?
Can someone explain to me how go about this problem please?
Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:59 pm
This was difficult for me to understand too. As far as I understand, each series represents a series of emission lines as an H atom goes from an arbitrary larger quantum number to a specific, smaller quantum number. For example, the Lyman series represents an H atom going from energy level n = 2,3,4, so on and so forth to energy level n = 1. The Balmer series represents an H atom going from energy level n = 3,4,5, so on and so forth to energy level n = 2. The thing common to the lines in the series is the "baseline jump," namely, the smallest possible energy jump from one stage to the next.
Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:14 pm
I realize that was kind of vague so here's my attempt at a more concrete explanation.
Let's say we have a hydrogen atom that is currently at the energy state n = 2. It drops to energy state n = 1, emitting 50 joules. (this number, and the following, were randomly selected and have no basis in fact.)
Then, let's say we have a hydrogen atom that is currently at the energy state n = 3. It drops to energy state n = 1, emitting 80 joules. And another that's at n = 4, that drops to state n = 1, emitting 90 joules. These energy drops all comprise one series, and what they have in common is the baseline jump - that drop of 50 joules. Additionally, the type of light emitted from these drops is the same for each series.