Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Test your knowledge on mass spectrometry and its history

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  • 1.
    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.

  • 2.
    The quadrupole mass filter has been known since the mid-1950s thanks to the work of Wolfgang Paul. The motion of ions in a quadrupole field can be described by solving second-order differential equations. When were these equations solved mathematically?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The solution of differential equations of this type came from the French mathematician Émile Léonard Mathieu (1835-1890), who studied the mechanical vibrations of the elliptical drumheads.

  • 3.
    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.
  • 4.
    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]

  • 5.
    What is the trajectory of a charged particle moving perpendicularly to a uniform magnetic field in a vacuum?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    The magnetic force is perpendicular to the velocity so that it does no work on the charged particle. The particle’s kinetic energy and speed thus remain constant. The direction of motion is affected but not the speed.

  • 6.
    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.

  • 7.
    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.
  • 8.
    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.

  • 9.
    Mass spectrometers known as calutrons were used for the industrial separation of uranium isotopes during the Manhattan Project. A large amount of copper was needed to make their magnetic coils. How was the highly-valued metal obtained during the war?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    During the war, copper was preferably used for the production of brass shell casings and it was not available for the construction of calutrons. The designers came up with the idea of replacing copper with silver. They borrowed about 13,300 tons of silver from the West Point Bullion Depository in West Point, NY. After the war, the silver was returned to the Treasury with virtually no loss.

  • 10.
    How many elements of the periodic table have only a single stable isotope?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:
    These so-called monoisotopic elements are beryllium, fluorine, sodium, aluminum, phosphorus, scandium, vanadium, manganese, cobalt, arsenic, rubidium, yttrium, niobium, rhodium, indium, iodine, cesium, lanthanum, praseodymium, europium, terbium, holmium, thulium, lutecium, rhenium, and gold.

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