## Balmer and Lyman series

Melody Haratian 1B
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### Balmer and Lyman series

Hi everyone! I was reading the textbook Focus 1. A and looking at the definitions of the Balmer series and Lyman series. The textbook says that the “Balmer series consists of the lines with n1=2 (and n2 =3,4,...). The Lyman series is a set of lines in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum with n1=1 (and n2=2,3,..). Can someone explain to me what “n”means, or what the energy levels represent? I’m also a bit confused on how the different n values that the Balmer and Lyman series create a difference between them.
Thank you.
Last edited by Melody Haratian 1B on Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kaili Valenzuela 2B
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

### Re: Balmer and Lyman series

Hello!
N represents the energy level. So if an electron is on energy level 4 then n=4 and if the electron drops to a different energy level lets say 2, then n will equal 2. The different between the Lyman and Balmer series is that in the Lyman series an electron either starts or ends on the ground state of hydrogen, thus meaning n will equal 1. The Balmer series means an electron starts or ends at an excited level of hydrogen which could be n=2,3,4, etc.

Melody Haratian 1B
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:48 pm
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### Re: Balmer and Lyman series

Thank you so much! Everything’s a lot clearer now for me.

Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:40 pm

### Re: Balmer and Lyman series

Just to add on, the Balmer series is in the visible region so we can see the photon emitted when an electron falls down to n=2.

Izamary Marquez 2H
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:44 pm

### Re: Balmer and Lyman series

Why is it that the Balmer series only goes to n=2? Is this just what is visible to the naked eye? In that case, wouldn't everyone see a different portrayal

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