Definition of mass spectrometer in US English:

mass spectrometer


  • An apparatus for separating isotopes, molecules, and molecular fragments according to mass. The sample is vaporized and ionized, and the ions are accelerated in an electric field and deflected by a magnetic field into a curved trajectory that gives a distinctive mass spectrum.

    • ‘Time-of-flight mass spectrometers measure the time it takes for each ion to reach the detector because heavier ions travel more slowly than lighter ions.’
    • ‘The emitted isotopes are focussed through a mass spectrometer and measured.’
    • ‘The gas chromatograph separates the substances present, and then each substance is broken into molecular fragments by the mass spectrometer.’
    • ‘It may even carry an instrument like a mass spectrometer to measure material ejected from impact.’
    • ‘An onboard mass spectrometer will then measure the levels of the different isotopes given off at each stage of the baking process.’


mass spectrometer

/ˈˌmas ˌspekˈträmədər/