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mass spectrometer

noun

Definitions

  1. Mass spectrometer A device that determines the chemical composition of a sample by vaporizing and ionizing the sample, then accelerating it through a chamber. A magnetic field in the chamber changes the paths of every ion in the chamber. The magnitude of change is determined by each ion’s mass. Analyzing the mass of every ion in the spectrum determines the chemical makeup of the original sample. Because it consumes some of the sample, this is classified as a destructive test.

External Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/mass_spectrometer