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I'm sort of confused because I got marked down for this, but do electrons in hydrogen in lower n-levels (e.g. n = 1) have higher or lower energies than those in higher n-levels (e.g. n = 3)? Could someone clarify on this? I thought because the Lyman series includes ultraviolet light with lower wavelengths, it meant that it has higher energy levels, but I could have gotten it mixed up.
Electrons in hydrogen in lower n-levels have lower energy because they are closer to their attractor, a positively charged nucleus which contains protons and therefore are more satisfied and using less energy. For the Lyman series which includes ultraviolet light the lower energy level is n=1. I'm not sure how this relates to the question, but I would love to see someone comment further on this. I hope this helps at least a little.
Electrons in lower energy levels ex. n=1 have a lower energy than electrons at n=2,3,4,... because less energy had to be imputed into the electron. Electrons absorb energy in order to move to a higher energy level (absorbing photons) and they release energy when they fall to a lower energy level (emitting a photon). So an electron that moves from n=1 to n=3 had to absorb photons to move up to that higher energy level, meaning it is now more energetic than it was at n=1.
As others have said, higher values of n mean higher energies. If you go from n=1 to n=5, you need more energy to do so than if you went from n=1 to n=2. This also means that more energy is released when the electron returns to the ground state from a higher energy level.
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