Lymer and Balmer series

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Natallie K 3B
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Lymer and Balmer series

Postby Natallie K 3B » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:55 pm

As I was reading through the textbook, I notice that it said

The Balmer series consists of the lines with n 1 = 2 (and n 2 = 3 , 4 , … n 2 = 3 , 4 , … ). The Lyman series is a set of lines in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum with n 1 = 1 (and n 2 = 2 , 3 , … n 2 = 2 , 3 , … ).

Why does the Balmer series start at n1=2, but the Lyman series starts at n1=1?

Quinton Sprague 2D
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:35 pm

Re: Lymer and Balmer series

Postby Quinton Sprague 2D » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:17 pm

Hello!
I believe the Lyman series starts at n=1 because one of the light energy sources (or lines on the series) used by Lyam has a frequency and wavelength equipped to excite an electron from the ground state to n=2. This gap from n1 to n2 is the largest in all the electron levels therefore requires the most energy to make the jump.

The light energy sources used by Balmer were not sufficient enough to excite an electron from the ground state to a different energy level. Rather, his varying frequencies and wavelengths were only able to move electrons already in the second energy level. Therefore, the lines of the Balmer series begin at n=2 while those of the Lyam series begin at n=1.

This is what I have gotten from the lecture so if I am mistaken, someone is welcome to correct me.

Kaiya_PT_1H
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Re: Lymer and Balmer series

Postby Kaiya_PT_1H » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:16 pm

He also said in the lecture that the Lyman series emits waves in the ultraviolet range and the Balmer series emits waves in the visible light range. I'm not sure how relevant that is though.

Lillian Ma 1L
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Re: Lymer and Balmer series

Postby Lillian Ma 1L » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:22 pm

The Lyman series describes waves that are emitted when an electron in the excited state falls back to the energy level n=1 (where it started from). Since the distance between n=1 and n=2 is the largest, when an electron falls back down to the n=1 energy level, it produces the highest energy, so the waves produced are within the ultraviolet range.

The Balmer series describes the waves emitted when an electron in the excited state falls back to energy level n=2. Since there is less distance between these energy levels, the electron doesn't emit as much energy, so teh waves produced are within the visible range.

Jamie Wang 3G
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Re: Lymer and Balmer series

Postby Jamie Wang 3G » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:27 am

How will you know if the number given by the series are the initial or final level? is it just based on the context of the question?

Kiyoka Kim 2I
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Re: Lymer and Balmer series

Postby Kiyoka Kim 2I » Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:55 am

Jamie Wang 3G wrote:How will you know if the number given by the series are the initial or final level? is it just based on the context of the question?


I think it would depend on whether the question is taking about the emission spectra or absorption spectra.


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