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.
A formula developed by Balmer in 1884 relates the frequencies of these lines to one another. In terms of wavelength λ, the formula is
where R is Rydberg's constant, whose value is approximately 1.097 × 107 m-1, and n is 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 for the five lines studied by Balmer.
Related categories• SPECTRA AND SPECTROSCOPY
• ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
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