# Illustration Hydrogen atom - term diagram (energy levels)

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Characteristic energy transitions for the hydrogen atom are shown. The electron of the hydrogen atom can assume different quantum numbers $$n$$.

• Lyman series are all energy transitions from m=2 to n=1.
• Balmer series are all energy transitions from m=3 to n=2.
• Paschen series are all energy transitions from m=4 to n=3.

The positive integer $$m$$ indicates from which energy level the electron has transitioned, for example to n=1.

If you irradiate a hydrogen atom with light, it is excited and emits light of a certain frequency. From the frequency it can be determined which energy transition has taken place.