Day 37: Mass Spectrometer

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Today, one I had to cover for a chemistry colleague, and got to talk about a mass spectroscopy lab the students had been working on. In particular, they had been working with a mass spec analogue, where they roll ball bearings at a very powerful magnet and then measure the deflection angle of the bearing. This experiment allows them to collect a number of different data points using ball bearings of different masses. Students can then analyze this data and determine that deflection angle is proportional to $mass^{-\frac{3}{2}}$, but I’m not sure of a way to derive this result theoretically.

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About John Burk

The ramblings of a physics teacher.
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