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# Mass spectrometry watch

1. Please can somebody explain the symbol 'm/z' to me? I understand it means mass over charge... but what over what charge, i'm slightly confused?
Thanks!
2. mass to charge ratio
Please can somebody explain the symbol 'm/z' to me? I understand it means mass over charge... but what over what charge, i'm slightly confused?
Thanks!
So you know how the sample is ionised? it's charge of the ion that's formed. In most cases, this is 1, so the m/z value will just tell you the mass of the particles that make up the sample.
4. (Original post by d010534)
So you know how the sample is ionised? it's charge of the ion that's formed. In most cases, this is 1, so the m/z value will just tell you the mass of the particles that make up the sample.
Ohhhhh... its actually that simple? Just to be clear i understand: so the atoms are ionized forming a charge of +1 (can it be +2 etc?) and then the mass is the mass of the ion so for oxygen it would be 16 so them/z of oxygen is 16/1?
Ohhhhh... its actually that simple? Just to be clear i understand: so the atoms are ionized forming a charge of +1 (can it be +2 etc?) and then the mass is the mass of the ion so for oxygen it would be 16 so them/z of oxygen is 16/1?
Yes, most of the time, a +1 charge is formed. Sometimes, a +2 charge forms and so the m/z value would be half the mass of the particles in the sample.
Oxygen (the molecule) is O2 therefore its mass would actually be 32 because there are two atoms of O2 in one Oxygen molecule

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