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Encyclopedia > Balmer series
Two of the balmer lines (α and β) are clearly visible in this emission spectrum of a deuterium lamp.
Two of the balmer lines (α and β) are clearly visible in this emission spectrum of a deuterium lamp.

The Balmer series or Balmer lines in atomic physics, is the designation of one of a set of six different named series describing the spectral line emissions of the hydrogen atom. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3900x2592, 417 KB)Spectrum of a deuterium lamp taken by pointing the light input port (no fiber optic used) of an Ocean Optics HR2000 spectrometer [1] toward the light produced by an ocean optics deuterium lamp. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3900x2592, 417 KB)Spectrum of a deuterium lamp taken by pointing the light input port (no fiber optic used) of an Ocean Optics HR2000 spectrometer [1] toward the light produced by an ocean optics deuterium lamp. ... Emission spectrum of an ultraviolet deuterium arc lamp showing characteristic hydrogen Balmer lines (sharp peaks at 486 nm and 656 nm labelled Dβ and Dα from left to right respectively), continuum emission in the ~160-400 nm region and Fulcher band emission between around 560 to 640 nm. ... Atomic physics (or atom physics) is the field of physics that studies atoms as isolated systems comprised of electrons and an atomic nucleus. ...


The Balmer series is calculated using the Balmer formula, an empirical equation discovered by Johann Balmer in 1885. The visible spectrum of light from hydrogen displays four wavelengths, 410 nm, 434 nm, 486 nm, and 656 nm, that reflect emissions of photons by electrons in excited states transitioning to the quantum level described by the principal quantum number n equals 2. Empirical is an adjective often used in conjunction with science, both the natural and social sciences, which means an observation or experiment based upon experience that is capable of being verified or disproved. ... Johann Jakob Balmer (May 1, 1825 – March 12, 1898) was a Swiss mathematician. ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... In atomic physics, the principal quantum number symbolized as n is the first quantum number of an atomic orbital. ...

Contents

Overview

The Balmer series is characterized by the electron transitioning from n ≥ 3 to n = 2, where n refers to the radial quantum number or principal quantum number of the electron. The transitions are named sequentially by Greek letter: n = 3 to n = 2 is called H-α, 4 to 2 is H-β, 5 to 2 is H-γ, and 6 to 2 is H-δ. As the spectral lines associated with this series are located in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, these lines are historically referred to as H-alpha, H-beta, H-gamma and H-delta where H is the element hydrogen. The Electron is a fundamental subatomic particle that carries an electric charge. ... In atomic physics, the principal quantum number symbolized as n is the first quantum number of an atomic orbital. ... In atomic physics, the principal quantum number symbolized as n is the first quantum number of an atomic orbital. ... Legend: γ = Gamma rays HX = Hard X-rays SX = Soft X-Rays EUV = Extreme ultraviolet NUV = Near ultraviolet Visible light NIR = Near infrared MIR = Moderate infrared FIR = Far infrared Radio waves: EHF = Extremely high frequency (Microwaves) SHF = Super high frequency (Microwaves) UHF = Ultra high frequency VHF = Very high frequency HF = High...


Balmer Series (Second) (visible light) n=2 limit = 365 nm

n = 3, λ = 656.3 nm, α, color emitted: red
n = 4, λ = 486.1 nm, β, color emitted: bluegreen
n = 5, λ = 434.1 nm, γ, color emitted: violet
n = 6, λ = 410.2 nm, δ, color emitted: violet

Although physicists were aware of atomic emissions before 1885, they lacked a tool to accurately predict where the spectral lines should appear. The Balmer equation predicts the four visible absorption/emission lines of hydrogen with high accuracy. Balmer's equation led physicists to find the Lyman, Paschen, and Brackett series which predicted other absorption/emission lines found outside the visible spectrum. The Lyman series is the series of transitions and resulting emission lines of the hydrogen atom as an electron goes from n ≥ 2 to n = 1 (where n is the principal quantum number referring to the energy level of the electron). ... The Paschen series is the series of transitions and resulting emission lines of the hydrogen atom as an electron goes from n ≥ 4 to n = 3 (where n refers to the energy level of the electron). ... The Brackett series is a series of absorption or emission lines that are due to electron transitions between the fourth and higher energy levels of the hydrogen atom. ... The visible spectrum (or sometimes optical spectrum) is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. ...


The familiar red H-alpha line of hydrogen which is the transition from the shell n=3 to the Balmer series shell n=2 is one of the conspicuous colors of the universe contributing a bright red line to the spectra of star forming regions.


Later, it was discovered that when the spectral lines of the hydrogen spectrum are examined at very high resolution, they are found to be closely-spaced doublets. This splitting is called fine structure. It was also found that excited atoms could jump to the Balmer series n=2 from orbitals where n was greater than 6 emitting shades of violet. 1. ...


Balmer's formula

Balmer noticed that a single number had a relation to every line in the hydrogen spectrum that was in the visible light region. That number was 364.56 nm. When any integer higher than 2 was squared and then divided by itself minus 4, then that number multiplied by 364.56 gave a wavelength of another line in the visible hydrogen spectrum. By this formula he was able to show that certain measurements of lines made in his time by spectroscopy were slightly inaccurate measurements and his formula predicted lines that were later found although had not yet been observed. His number also proved to be the limit of the series. Extremely high resolution spectrum of the Sun showing thousands of elemental absorption lines (fraunhofer lines) Spectroscopy is the study of matter and its properties by investigating light, sound, or particles that are emitted, absorbed or scattered by the matter under investigation. ...


The formula discovered by Balmer could be used to find the wavelength of the absorption/emission lines and was originally presented as follows: The wavelength is the distance between repeating units of a wave pattern. ...

lambda = frac{ hm^2 }{ (m^2 - n^2) }

Where

λ is the wavelength.
h is a constant with the value of 3.6456×10-7 m or 364.56 nm.
n is equal to 2
m is an integer such that m > n.

In 1888 the physicist Johannes Rydberg generalized the Balmer equation for all transitions of hydrogen. The equation commonly used to calculate the Balmer series is a specific example of the Rydberg formula and is as follows: 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... Janne Rydberg Johannes Robert Rydberg, commonly known as Janne Rydberg, (November 8, 1854 - December 28, 1919), was a Swedish physicist mainly known for devising the Rydberg formula, in 1888, which is used to predict the wavelengths of photons (of light and other electromagnetic radiation) emitted by changes in the energy... The Rydberg formula (Rydberg-Ritz formula) is used in atomic physics for determining the full spectrum of light emission from hydrogen, later extended to be useful with any element. ...

frac{1}{lambda} = R_mathrm{H}left(frac{1}{2^2} - frac{1}{n^2}right), n=3,4,5,...

where λ is the wavelength of the absorbed/emitted light and RH is the Rydberg constant for hydrogen. The Rydberg constant for an infinitely heavy nucleus is 10,973,735.3 m−1. The Rydberg constant, named after physicist Janne Rydberg, is a physical constant discovered when measuring the spectrum of hydrogen, and building upon results from Anders Jonas Ã…ngström and Johann Balmer. ...


Role in astronomy

The Balmer series is particularly useful in astronomy because the Balmer lines appear in numerous stellar objects due to the abundance of hydrogen in the universe. Astrophysicists are able to use the Balmer lines to help determine the age of stars because younger stars are composed almost entirely of hydrogen, while older stars have greater quantities of heavier elements due to nuclear fusion. All elements have unique spectral lines, so careful analysis of the absorption/emission lines can give clues to the relative age of stars. A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant. ... An astrophysicist is a person whose profession is astrophysics. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ...


Balmer lines can appear in absorption or emission. In stars they are absorption lines, and they are "strongest" when radiating from a star with a temperature of about 10,000 kelvins. In AGNs, H II regions and planetary nebulae, they are emission lines. A spectral line is a dark or bright line in an otherwise uniform and continuous spectrum, resulting from an excess or deficiency of photons in a narrow frequency range, compared with the nearby frequencies. ... A spectral line is a dark or bright line in an otherwise uniform and continuous spectrum, resulting from an excess or deficiency of photons in a narrow frequency range, compared with the nearby frequencies. ... The Pleiades, an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus. ... Radiant energy is the energy of electromagnetic waves. ... The Kelvin scale is a thermodynamic (absolute) temperature scale where absolute zero—the lowest possible temperature where nothing could be colder and no heat energy remains in a substance—is defined as zero kelvin (0 K). ... An active galaxy is a galaxy where a significant fraction of the energy output is not emitted by the normal components of a galaxy: stars, dust and interstellar gas. ... NGC 604, a giant H II region in the Triangulum Galaxy. ... NGC 6543, the Cats Eye Nebula A planetary nebula is an astronomical object consisting of a glowing shell of gas and plasma formed by certain types of stars at the end of their lives. ... The Triangulum Emission Nebula NGC 604 lies in a spiral arm of Galaxy M33, 2. ...


See also

The Lyman series is the series of transitions and resulting emission lines of the hydrogen atom as an electron goes from n ≥ 2 to n = 1 (where n is the principal quantum number referring to the energy level of the electron). ... The Paschen series is the series of transitions and resulting emission lines of the hydrogen atom as an electron goes from n ≥ 4 to n = 3 (where n refers to the energy level of the electron). ... The Brackett series is a series of absorption or emission lines that are due to electron transitions between the fourth and higher energy levels of the hydrogen atom. ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... In atomic physics, the Humphreys series is the designation of one of a set of six different named series describing the spectral line emissions of the hydrogen atom, and was discovered by Curtis J. Humphreys in 1953. ... High resolution spectrum of the Sun showing thousands of elemental absorption lines (fraunhofer lines). ... In astronomy, stellar classification is a classification of stars based initially on photospheric temperature and its associated spectral characteristics, and subsequently refined in terms of other characteristics. ... The Bohr model of the hydrogen atom. ... The theoretical and experimental justification for the Schrödinger equation motivates the discovery of the Schrödinger equation, the equation that describes the dynamics of nonrelativistic particles. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... In physics and astronomy, H-alpha, also written Hα, is a particular emission line created by hydrogen. ... The Rydberg formula (Rydberg-Ritz formula) is used in atomic physics for determining the full spectrum of light emission from hydrogen, later extended to be useful with any element. ... Balmers Constant is used in chemistry to discern the frequency of light emitted when an atoms electron returns to the ground state. ...

External links

  • Balmer series (animation)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Balmer series (206 words)
A series of emission or absorption lines in the visible part of the hydrogen spectrum that is due to transitions between the second (or first excited) state and higher energy states of the hydrogen atom.
The transition from the third level to the second level yields the red H-alpha emission line at 6563 Å; H-beta is in the green part of the spectrum at 4861 Å, H-gamma is in the violet (as are higher members of the series) at 4342 Å, and H-delta at 4101 Å.
The Balmer jump is the relatively abrupt decrease in a continuous spectrum at about 3650 Å caused by hydrogen absorption lines in the Balmer series crowding to their series limit.
Johann Jakob Balmer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (332 words)
Johann Jakob Balmer (May 1, 1825 – March 12, 1898) was a Swiss mathematician and an honorary physicist.
Balmer then used this formula to predict the wavelength for m = 7, and a colleague at the university was able to confirm a match to a high degree of accuracy.
Balmer lines and Balmer series are named after him.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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