JAMES HOLMES / OXFORD CENTRE FOR MOLECULAR SCIENCES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES HOLMES / OXFORD CENTRE FOR MOLECULAR SCIENCES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scientist working with a mass spectrometer used for protein analysis. The computer displays the mass spectrum of the sample under investigation, in this case myoglobin, the oxygen-binding protein of muscle. Mass spectrometers are used to identify chemical compounds by exploiting the behaviour of their molecular ions in magnetic and electric fields. Inside the mass spectrometer (left), the sample is ionised by bombardment from high-energy electrons. Variable electric and magnetic fields are used to accelerate and deflect the ions towards a detector. Photographed at Oxford University.
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