Chemguide: Support for CIE A level Chemistry

Learning outcome 22: Analytical techniques

22.2: Mass spectrometry

Learning outcomes 22.2.1 and 22.2.2

These statements deal with the mass spectra of elements and their interpretation.

Before you go on, you should find and read the statements in your copy of the syllabus.

Notice that you aren't required to know how a mass spectrometer works, but it would make sense to read about it quickly out of interest, so that you have at least a vague idea of how a mass spectrum is produced.

You should explore the first two pages on the mass spectrometry menu. You should read the first page quickly without trying to learn it. You will need to fully understand the second page.

If you want more examples of finding relative atomic masses from mass spectra, you will find some in Chapter 2 of my A level chemistry calculations book. See pages 21 to 25, and problems 23 and 24 at the end of the chapter.

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© Jim Clark 2020