Using Mass Spectrometry to Find Chemical Formulas


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Why can we not simply add the number of protons and neutrons for an element to determine its mass?

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1. In the mass spectrum for an atom of a certain element, a peak is observed at m/z = 127.01 amu. Which element is most likely responsible for this peak?

2. What is the molecular mass for a naturally occurring sample of CO2?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Test your knowledge of mass spectrometry using these online and printable tools. To pass this quiz and worksheet, you have to know how to read and interpret a mass spectrum.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Focus is placed on the following:

  • Finding the molecular mass
  • Determining the mass of an element
  • The element responsible for a peak in a given mass spectrum

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the lesson on chemical formulas
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the reason two peaks may exist in one mass spectrum
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to analyze the existence of a discrepancy in mass to charge ratio and determined value of a mass spectrometer

Additional Learning

Increase your knowledge of chemical formulas by completing the lesson titled Using Mass Spectrometry to Find Chemical Formulas. Topics discussed in the lesson include:

  • Fingerprints of a molecule
  • Molecular ions
  • The periodic table