Ciel_
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Im a private candidate studying CIE Chem A level and really confused on mass spectrometry can someone please explain
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cmckennaa
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mass spectrometry looks complex, but its quite easy to understand when you see how the graphs are made

basically cuz the element has different isotopes, that means they have different masses (remember an isotope is the same element but with a different number of neutrons, which have a mass of 1)

first they are turned into ions to make it positive in order for them to be deflected by the magnet

the heavier isotopes will take longer to turn towards the magnet into the electronic reader which creates the graph spikes. think about a heavy truck turning compared to a car- the car would turn at a sharper pivot compared to the truck. this then means the lighter masses would show up as closer to the y axis

if you're still confused i can draw a diagram which connects the two images if it is unclear, but i hope this helped

sorry for the constant editing im trying to fix the images! lol
nvm gave up so here's a good website with clear diagrams: https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshel...trometer_Works
Last edited by cmckennaa; 2 years ago
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Ciel_
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(Original post by cmckennaa)
mass spectrometry looks complex, but its quite easy to understand when you see how the graphs are made

basically cuz the element has different isotopes, that means they have different masses (remember an isotope is the same element but with a different number of neutrons, which have a mass of 1)

first they are turned into ions to make it positive in order for them to be deflected by the magnet

the heavier isotopes will take longer to turn towards the magnet into the electronic reader which creates the graph spikes. think about a heavy truck turning compared to a car- the car would turn at a sharper pivot compared to the truck. this then means the lighter masses would show up as closer to the y axis

if you're still confused i can draw a diagram which connects the two images if it is unclear, but i hope this helped

sorry for the constant editing im trying to fix the images! lol
nvm gave up so here's a good website with clear diagrams: https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshel...trometer_Works
That makes perfect sense thank you soo so much!!
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