Hydrogen Spectral Series

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Uma Ramaratnam 2I
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Hydrogen Spectral Series

Postby Uma Ramaratnam 2I » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:56 am

What exactly does the hydrogen spectral series show? And how are those used to find wavelengths or what energy levels electrons jump to in certain scenarios?

Annie Qing 2F
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Hydrogen Spectral Series

Postby Annie Qing 2F » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:24 pm

The hydrogen spectral series shows the specific amounts of energy needed to transition between two energy levels within hydrogen and can be observed when electrons fall from higher energy levels and emit photons. We observe specific lines or amounts of energy because electrons do not gradually move farther from the nucleus, but instead are only excited at a threshold energy.

I'm not sure if you can easily determine wavelength or energy levels by just looking at the picture of the hydrogen spectral series but usually problems provide two of the three variables (, , and ) relevant to the equations , , and so you can calculate the third. Those last two equations can be combined to become . That first equation is used to find the energy at a certain energy level n. Therefore the energy of light emitted (spectral lines you were talking about) is and you can substitute E for if you're looking for values with respect to emitted light.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this and sorry this is so long and confusing!

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