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Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Test your knowledge on mass spectrometry and its history

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  • 1.
    Which element has the largest number of stable isotopes?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:
    Naturally occurring tin is a mixture of its ten stable isotopes and they are found in the percentages as follows: 112Sn (1.0 %), 114Sn (0.7 %), 115Sn (0.3 %), 116Sn (14.5 %), 117Sn (7.7 %), 118Sn (24.2 %), 119Sn (8.6 %), 120Sn (32.6 %), 122Sn (4.6 %), and 124Sn (5.8 %). Molybdenum has six stable isotopes, ytterbium seven.
  • 2.
    What is the electric charge of an ion with m/z = m?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The particle carries one elementary charge, the value of which is 1.602 176 634 × 10−19 C (exactly).

  • 3.
    How long would be a paper needed for printing a profile mass spectrum measured in the m/z 0 1000 range at a resolution of 50,000 at m/z 500 if the peaks were to be 1 mm wide at their half maximum? Let us consider a constant width of all peaks.

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The resolution can be expressed as (m/z)/Δ(m/z), where Δ (m/z) is the peak width at 50 % of its maximum. For a resolution of 50,000 at m/z 500, the value of Δ(m/z) is 0.01. If the Δ(m/z) is to correspond to 1 mm, then the total width of the spectral record equals 1000/0.01 mm, which is 100,000 mm, which is 100 m.

  • 4.
    The first on-line coupling of gas chromatography to a mass spectrometer was reported in 1959. What type of spectrometer was used for this purpose?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:
    The first GC/MS experiments were carried out by Fred McLafferty and Roland Gohlke at Dow Chemical with Bill Wiley and Ian McLaren at Bendix Research Laboratories. They used a Bendix timeof- flight mass spectrometer, which had been commercially introduced in 1956. The instrument was fast enough to keep up with the changing output of the GC column.
  • 5.
    What is the base peak in the mass spectrum?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The base peak is the peak with the greatest intensity among all peaks in the spectrum. The intensity of each peak in the spectrum is expressed as a percentage relative to the intensity of the base peak.

  • 6.
    Until 2019, the kilogram unit was defined using an international prototype kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France. The International Prototype of the Kilogram was made of an alloy of platinum and one other metal. The metal was:

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The International Prototype of the Kilogram was a cylinder with a height and diameter of 39 mm made of an alloy of 90% platinum and 10% iridium.

  • 7.
    Chemical ionization (CI) is a soft ionization technique used in mass spectrometry. Who discovered it?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    Chemical ionization was discovered in the laboratories of the Humble Oil and Refining Company in Baytown, TX. Munson and Field’s seminal paper on chemical ionization was published in 1966.  [https://doi.org/10.1021/ja00964a001]

  • 8.
    What ionization technique was used for the first sequencing of peptides by mass spectrometry?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    Mass spectrometry was used to sequence peptides for the first time in 1959 when K. Biemann described an innovative method based on the reduction of small peptides to polyamino alcohols with characteristic EI spectra. [https://doi.org/10.1021/ja01518a069]

  • 9.
    Lunar craters are usually named after scientists and explorers. One of the craters on the Moon is named after a prominent scientist in the field of mass spectrometry. Who is named after?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    Aston is a 44-kilometer lunar impact crater located along the northwestern limb of the Moon. The crater was named in honor of Francis W. Aston.

  • 10.
    Josef Mattauch is known for the development of Mattauch-Herzog double-focusing mass spectrometer and his work on isotopes and atomic weights. His career is connected with the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin. Do you know where he was born?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    Josef Mattauch was born in 1895 in the city of Mährisch Ostrau, in what is now the Czech Republic, then part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

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