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 at Oxford University. 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 & 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 & deflect the ions towards a detector.
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