Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Mass Spectrometry Quiz

Test your knowledge on mass spectrometry and its history

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  • 1.
    What was the largest number of quadrupoles connected in series for tandem mass spectrometry in a commercial instrument?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:
    A penta-quadrupole mass spectrometer contains three quadrupole filters and two rf-only quadrupole collision cells. It allows MS3 experiments.  Extrel once offered such a spectrometer.
  • 2.
    Which mass spectrometer was carried by the American spacecraft Viking 1 sent to the planet Mars in 1975?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:
    Viking 1 carried two mass spectrometers, both equipped with double-focusing analyzers and electron ionization sources. The first spectrometer with a Mattauch-Herzog geometry was designed by Alfred Nier; it was intended to analyze the upper atmosphere of Mars. The second one with a Nier- Johnson geometry was part of the GC/MS apparatus designed by Klaus Biemann. It was used to analyze the regolith and the atmosphere at the landing site.
  • 3.
    Who made molecular elephants fly?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:
    John Fenn was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002 for his work related to electrospray ionization of biological macromolecules. His famous phrase, "we made elephants fly" refers to the ability of electrospray to generate gas-phase ions from big protein molecules.
  • 4.
    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.

  • 5.
    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.

  • 6.
    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).

  • 7.
    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.

  • 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 trajectory of a charged particle moving parallel to a uniform electric field in a vacuum?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    If a positive charge is moving in the same direction as the electric field vector the particle's velocity will increase. If it is moving in the opposite direction it will decelerate. If a negative charge is moving in the same direction as the electric field vector the particle will decelerate. If it is moving in the opposite direction it will accelerate.

  • 10.
    What principle of positive ray detection was used in the first Thomson's parabola spectrographs?

    Your answer:
    Correct answer:

    In the spectrographs used by Thomson until 1910, the rays of positive electricity were detected by the phosphorescence they produced on a willemite screen. The screen was made by grinding rare zinc mineral willemite into a fine powder. After shaking in alcohol, the suspension was allowed to deposit slowly on a glass plate. Later, a photographic plate inside the spectrograph was used for more sensitive detection.

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