Balmer Series

A series of lines in the emission spectrum of hydrogen that involve transitions to the n=2 state from states with n>2. Four of the lines are in the visible spectrum, and the remainder are in the ultraviolet. First discovered by Balmer in 1885.

The frequency of the visible lines is given by:


where
RH = Rydberg constant for hydrogen = 1.097x107m-1
c = velocity of light = 2.997924580x108 ms-1
n = 3, 4, 5

Balmer also proposed more series for hydrogen with frequencies given by the general expression:


where
n1 > n2
n2 = 1 = Lyman Series
n2 = 2 = Balmer Series
n2 = 3 = Paschen Series
n2 = 4 = Bracket Series
n2 = 5 = Pfund Series

See also: Brackett Series, Lyman Series, Paschen Series, Pfund Series.

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Subjects: Chemistry Physics