A model of mass spectrometry 

Description

Use this modelling activity to explore your student's understanding of the process of fragmentation in mass spectrometry.

Sign up to our Analytical chemistry online CPD course for 133 further techniques and development support like this.

This resource is a discussion scenario that runs in sequence to help with teaching mass spectrometry. The course has nine topics including classifying materials to advanced instrumental techniques and will take nine hours to complete.

You can find further details about the structure of the course in the additional information below.

Visit our teacher CPD pages to view other courses.

a-model-of-mass-spectrome...

In this modelling activity, the first 26 prime numbers are assigned to the letters of the alphabet. Each letter of the alphabet now has a 'relative mass' number. The activity is provided, with gratitude, courtesy of Tracy Suggs, the National Science Foundation and Cornell Center for Materials Research.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71 73 79 83 89 97

 

A word represents a molecule, ie letters 'bonded' together.

 

 

Another 'word' is passed through the word spectrometer. All possible 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-letter fragments were detected.

The following peaks were in the 'mass' spectrum.

 

1 7 8 37 38 45 67 74 75 112

 

Using the code below, see if you can work out the identity of the word. 

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71 73 79 83 89 97

 

Check your answer.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Our Analytical chemistry course not only provides you with the core content you need to teach, but also takes you through common student misconceptions, experimental techniques and interesting stimuli for discussion and developing each topic further.

After working through the full course, you will be able to:

  • understand the core ideas in analytical chemistry
  • explain the progression and development of analytical chemistry through secondary education
  • identify common misconceptions in students' thinking and explore how these misconceptions can be addressed
  • access a wide variety of resources to help students learn about analytical chemistry in an engaging manner
  • recognise areas of overlap and develop links between analytical chemistry and other aspects of chemistry

Thank you to Joe Ogborn and Dorothy Warren for authoring this course.