Problem: Mass spectrometry is more often applied to molecules than to atoms. We will see in Chapter 3 in the textbook that the  molecular weight  of a molecule is the sum of the atomic weights of the atoms in the molecule. In mass spectrometry, these molecular weights are measured relative to 1/12 the mass of one atom of 12C and therefore are commonly referred to as relative masses. The mass spectrum of H2 is taken under conditions that prevent decomposition into H atoms.The two naturally occurring isotopes of hydrogen are 1H (atomic mass = 1.00783 amu; abundance 99.9885%) and 2H (atomic mass = 2.01410 amu; abundance 0.0115%).Which peak will be the smallest?

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We’re being asked to determine the peak in the mass spectrum of H2 which will be the smallest

Mass Spectrometry allows you to determine the molecular weight of an unknown compound through its vaporization and ionization. 

Mass spectrometer is used to determine the mass to charge ratio of an unknown compound

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Problem Details

Mass spectrometry is more often applied to molecules than to atoms. We will see in Chapter 3 in the textbook that the  molecular weight  of a molecule is the sum of the atomic weights of the atoms in the molecule. In mass spectrometry, these molecular weights are measured relative to 1/12 the mass of one atom of 12C and therefore are commonly referred to as relative masses. The mass spectrum of H2 is taken under conditions that prevent decomposition into H atoms.

The two naturally occurring isotopes of hydrogen are 1H (atomic mass 1.00783 amu; abundance 99.9885%) and 2H (atomic mass 2.01410 amu; abundance 0.0115%).

Which peak will be the smallest?

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