## Why are the numbers backwards on the Lyman and Balmer Model?

Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

### Why are the numbers backwards on the Lyman and Balmer Model?

So I was looking at the Lyman and Balmer series model, and Lyman is at the very bottom of the model next to n=1. Shouldn't Lyman be at the top because UV radiation is the most energy dense of the between infrared, visible, and UV light. How am I supposed to read this model?

Savannah Torella 1L
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:40 pm

### Re: Why are the numbers backwards on the Lyman and Balmer Model?

If you are talking about the model that was given during the presentation, which I'm pretty sure you are, it's because this graph is based off each specific energy level. Under the Lyman series, it is showing that the electron can jump between levels ranging between the first energy level and the sixth energy level. In contrast, the electron can only jump between levels ranging between the second energy level and the sixth energy level. This graph is more so displaying the energy levels each series can reach, not saying that higher up in the graph means the series contains more energy. This is confusing since the y-axis seems to be labeled in that way, but it seemed to be explained differently. I'm not positive this was you were asking, this is just the way I interpreted it. Hope this made sensed helped!

Janelle Gokim 3F
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:42 pm
Been upvoted: 3 times

### Re: Why are the numbers backwards on the Lyman and Balmer Model?

To add on, the fact that the Lyman series reaches lower actually reinforces what you were saying about the UV region being the most dense/high energy out of the three. The greatest energy difference is between energy levels 1 and 2, so it makes sense that the Lyman series can extend to that ground state on the diagram, meaning the absorption or emission taking place will have a high frequency(high energy).