Dr. Jay Brandes, a Skidaway Institute faculty research scientist, writes:
Stable Isotope Facility Update- We have been working with engineers from Thermo-Finnigan corp. to install a brand new isotope ratio mass spectrometer system in my lab these last few weeks. We are about ½ way through the install, with the gas chromatograph having been checked out for carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements. We still have the elemental analyzer and gas bench interfaces to test and attach. So far it has been going smoothly. It is a little odd, however, seeing a mass spectrometer without any tuning dials- a first in my experience. Everything is done by computer interface now, a far cry from the early days when a mass spectrometer was manually tuned like a radio for sensitivity and precision. Or the REALLY old days when scientists built their own instruments from vacuum tube electronics, glass and mercury!