Understanding Balmer & Lyman Series

Jason Wu 1E
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:15 am

Understanding Balmer & Lyman Series

I am having trouble conceptualizing the importance of these two series shown on the light spectrum. Why are those two regions important/highlighted and how does it relate to n? (I'm not completely sure but is n denoted as the energy level of the electron in this case?)

romina_4C
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Understanding Balmer & Lyman Series

The Balmer series refers to the UV light emissions. Essentially, UV light is created whenever an electron jumps to the energy level of n=1. n refers to the energy levels. It does not matter whether an electron jumped from n=2 to n=1or n=4 to n=4 - whenever an electron jumps to n=1, the light emitted is UV light. These energy transitions are referred to as the Lyman series. The Balmer series has a similar concept - it involves electron transitions to the energy level n=2, which is released as infrared radiation. Similarly, it does not matter whether an electron goes from n=3 to n=2 or n=4 to n=2, as long as the electron's final energy level when they are jumping down is n=2, the radiation is released as infrared. This is referred to as the Balmer series.

Jared Khoo 1G
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Understanding Balmer & Lyman Series

As Romina said, the Lyman series refers to UV light, which has more energy than the visible light spectrum which is why it corresponds to going from n=1 to n=3, for example. The further away an electron is from the nucleus, less energy is required to jump to the next level, so lower energy light will still cause the electron to jump. For example, the Balmer series is partly visible and has lower energy, which is why it corresponds to jumps from higher electron levels.

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Re: Understanding Balmer & Lyman Series

As the others said, the Lyman series is for electrons that end at n=1 and the Balmer series is for electrons that end at n=2. But the main reason why these two regions are highlighted is just because they involve the 2 biggest "jumps" or energy differences. There are other series for other levels of n but Lavelle just chose these 2 highlight.