About Mass Spectrometry

About Mass Spec

ASMS is pleased to provide information for those interested in learning more about Mass Spectrometry. We would like to expand the resources available on this page. If you have suggestions for content, please contact ASMS Member-at-Large for Education Erin Baker at ebaker[at]ncsu.edu. 

ASMS Video Library

Our ASMS Video Library is accessible to the general public and contains videos on various mass spectrometry topics, listed in the left column of this page. Tutorial lectures from the annual ASMS conferences are included. 

Watch these videos to hone your knowledge or spark your interest in something new!

What is Mass Spectrometry?

Mass spectrometry is an analytical tool useful for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of one or more molecules present in a sample.  These measurements can often be used to calculate the exact molecular weight of the sample components as well. Typically, mass spectrometers can be used to identify unknown compounds via molecular weight determination, to quantify known compounds, and to determine structure and chemical properties of molecules.

How does a mass spectrometer perform such a feat?  Every mass spectrometer consists of at least these three components:

  • Ionization Source
  • Mass Analyzer
  • Ion Detection System

About ASMS and Mass Spec History

To learn about the history of mass spectrometry go to the About ASMS and MS History page. Here you will find our collection of history posters (available for download), oral histories, and history videos.


Other Resources 

Download these resources for yourself or to share with others.

NIH Grant Process and Tips for Applicants

Mass Spectrometry Basics for Young Students: An Interactive Laboratory Tour (PDF). A valuable resource for educators. Lead author Ron M.A. Heeren, FOM-Institute AMOLF, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

An Education and Outreach article describing this resource, entitled “A MASSive Laboratory Tour. An Interactive Mass Spectrometry Outreach Activity for Children”, was published by Jungmann, et al. in J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. (2013) 24:979-982. DOI: 10.1007/s13361-013-0663-4