Balmer series says transitions from n ≥ 3 to n = 2 as n= 2 is the ground state ? how Hydrogen atom electron gain energy from level 2 to higher levels as normally H electrons in level n = 1 ?

it does not transit from n 2 to n 3 when electron come back from n 3 there is two possible ways drop from 3 to 2 then to 1
and the other drop from 3 to 1

1 Answer
Mar 17, 2018

#n = 2# is not the ground state of hydrogen atom...

The Balmer series considers transitions that END at #n = 2#, and does NOT specify it as the ground state.

The ground state is and always will be #n = 1# for hydrogen atom. #n = 2# is the first excited state, and you know that it is not quite as populated at room temperature as #n = 1# would be.

Any ensemble of hydrogen atoms will generate a spectrum consisting of all of the above (Lyman, Balmer, Paschen, Brackett series).

Some INDIVIDUAL hydrogen atoms will exhibit Lyman lines at one moment in time as they decay to the ground state, some other INDIVIDUAL atoms will exhibit Balmer lines as they decay to the first excited state, etc.

What we observe then is the collective spectrum for the ensemble at once.