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Homework Help: Electron transmission naming conventions

  1. Nov 2, 2008 #1
    I know you can name transitions between states like Lyman alpha, beta, gamma and whatnot but every time I see them they are written with a capital letter instead like K-alpha, beta, gamma.

    I cannot actually find a table anywhere (yes I have googled) that sums up how the two naming conventions are relative to one another, except that K-alpha means transition from n=2 to n=1.

    The alpha, beta, gamma bit means from one, two, three level(s) up relative to the level you're at, right?

    But in this particular naming convention what capital letters correspond to Lyman, Balmer, Paschen series etc.?

    Sorry if it is a confusing question I am just very frustrated and having trouble putting my question into words properly. And why the hell isn't this a standardized naming system? It just confuses poor stupid physics students like me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2008 #2
    Furthermore, could someone please tell me which equation I would use to answer this question:

    An electron is fired at a target with 25keV of energy.
    What is the maximum atomic number Z of a target metal for which the x-ray spectrum will include the K-alpha spectrum line?

    I can't find a formula anywhere that has anything to do with atomic numbers and energy levels.
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