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The term mass spectroscope continued to be used even though the direct illumination of a phosphor screen was replaced by indirect measurements with an oscilloscope. Sector mass spectrometers known as calutrons were developed by Ernest O.Modern techniques of mass spectrometry were devised by Arthur Jeffrey Dempster and F. Lawrence and used for separating the isotopes of uranium during the Manhattan Project.The atoms or molecules in the sample can be identified by correlating known masses (e.g.an entire molecule) to the identified masses or through a characteristic fragmentation pattern.Lighter ions get deflected by the magnetic force more than heavier ions (based on Newton's second law of motion, F = ma).
In a typical MS procedure, a sample, which may be solid, liquid, or gaseous, is ionized, for example by bombarding it with electrons.Mass spectrometry is used in many different fields and is applied to pure samples as well as complex mixtures.A mass spectrum is a plot of the ion signal as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio.The following example describes the operation of a spectrometer mass analyzer, which is of the sector type.
(Other analyzer types are treated below.) Consider a sample of sodium chloride (table salt).In the ion source, the sample is vaporized (turned into gas) and ionized (transformed into electrically charged particles) into sodium (Na) ions.