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### Balmer vs Lyman Series

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:46 pm
Can someone explain the Balmer and Lyman series and how to determine if a transition is in the Balmer or Lyman series? For example, in problem 1.15 in the 6th edition, the question is:

In the ultraviolet spectrum of atomic hydrogen, a line is observed at 102.6 nm. Determine the values of n for the initial and final energy levels of the electron during the emission of energy that leads to this spectral line.

How do we know this transition is in the Lyman series just from the ultraviolet spectrum?

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman Series

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:26 pm
For the Lyman series,which corresponds to UV light, the electrons come to rest at the energy level n=1.
For the Balmer series, which corresponds to visible light, the electrons come to rest at the energy level n=2.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman Series  [ENDORSED]

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:43 am
As the previous post mentioned, the Lyman series corresponds to UV light and the electrons in the Lyman series relax to the n=1 shell. This will always be true of the Lyman series and its just something to memorize. The Balmer series corresponds with visible light and the electrons relax to the n=2 shell. There is also the Paschen series which corresponds to infrared light and the electrons relax to the n=3 shell.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman Series

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:09 pm
Electrons in the Lyman Series are part of the UV spectrum because they are all dropping to n=1, which is the farthest distance and therefore requires the most energy. The energy levels of a hydrogen atom converge as they increase, so the energy difference between higher levels decrease (in comparison to n=1) as the distance decreases.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman Series

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:13 pm
Lyman series occur in the UV spectrum. This means that the electron is going to the first energy level (n = 1).
In a Balmer series, this is occurring in the visible light spectrum. So the electron will go to the second energy level, or n = 2.

For this particular problem, you can assume that the nFinal is 1 because it is a Lyman series.

### Re: Balmer vs Lyman Series

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:11 am
Wavelengths in the ultraviolet band are always in the Lyman series and wavelengths in either the visible light spectrum or the solar spectrum are in the Balmer series.