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Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Test your knowledge on mass spectrometry and its history

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  • 1.
    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.

  • 2.
    John Zeleny was an American physicist whose work laid the theoretical foundations of electrospray ionization. He was born in 1872 into a family of immigrants from Europe. Where did his family come from?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The parents of John Zelený, Antonín Zelený and Josefa Pitková, came from Křídla, a small village near Žďár nad Sázavou in Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic).

  • 3.
    Who built the first mass spectrometer in Czechia?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The first mass spectrometer in the country was built in the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Four young scientists, Vladimír Čermák, Vladimír Hanuš, Čestmír Jech and Josef Cabicar, took part in its construction. At the time of the post-war shortage, it was very difficult to find the necessary components; some parts originated from captured German military equipment. The mass spectrometer was of the Nier type with simple focusing and 60° magnetic field, pumped by a mercury diffusion pump. The device was completed after two years, in 1953. The construction of this instrument was an extraordinary achievement awarded a year later by the State Prize. [Z. Herman, Chem. Listy 104, 955, 2010]

  • 4.
    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.

  • 5.
    List these compounds according to their increasing mass: hydrazine (H4N2), oxygen (O2), methanol (CH4O).

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The monoisotopic masses of these compounds are 31.989829 Da (oxygen), 32.026215 Da (methanol), and 32.037448 Da (hydrazine).

  • 6.
    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.
  • 7.
    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.

  • 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.
    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.

  • 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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