A History of European Mass Spectrometry

A History of European Mass Spectrometry aims to give an insight into how some of the more important developments came about, from the advent of the first commercial instruments to the present day. The various accounts, several of which contain personal reminiscences, both provide a human background to these developments and convey the excitement of being part of the European mass spectrometry community during this period.

  • £30.00
  • Weight
    1000 g
  • ISBN

A History of European Mass Spectrometry presents the history of mass spectrometry from the point of view of prominent European scientists working in the field and representatives of leading manufacturers of mass spectrometers in Europe. It is by no means a monograph or a textbook but rather a collection of separate essays, written by a number of authors who present their personal thoughts on various aspects of the development of mass spectrometry. A History of European Mass Spectrometry focuses mainly, though not exclusively, on developments in Europe, which was a cradle of this very important analytical method.

The construction of Thompson’s mass spectrograph in Cambridge almost exactly a century ago followed by Aston’s improved instruments and his pioneering work on non-radioactive isotopes is widely known. In the sixty years or so since then, European scientists and engineers have made many major contributions to the development of new instruments and techniques. Accounts of these contributions in the scientific literature necessarily give little idea of the contributors themselves or of the difficulties that had to be overcome before success was achieved.

Most newcomers to mass spectrometry in the last ten years will have little concept of the difficulties faced in obtaining the mass spectra of four solid samples during a working day before the invention of the vacuum lock probe. This was followed by several hours of counting spectra and trying to interpret them. Many will never have seen a magnetic deflection instrument and will be familiar only with mass spectrometers having both the operation of the instrument and the interpretation of the data under computer control.

For people who are just starting their adventures in mass spectrometry A History of European Mass Spectrometry will give a broad overview of this field of science, showing how lucky they are to be working with such advanced and easy to operate instruments. It was not always like this … Veterans in the field will find in this book many names of their good friends—and often scientific competitors—and have the opportunity to find their faces on the vintage photographs. They will also see the instruments, now long dismantled, that were the witnesses of their greatest scientific achievements. 

In conclusion: every scientist, young or old, who works with mass spectrometry will find something of interest in this book.

  • Editor
    Keith R. Jennings
  • Binding
  • Pages
  • Weight (g)
  • ISBN-13

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The foundations of mass spectrometry in Europe-the first fifty years
Keith R. Jennings

Nico M.M. Nibbering

Andries Bruins

From field desorption to MALDI and to the resurgence of time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Michael Karas

Mass spectrometry in Manchester
Bob Bateman

Mass spectrometry in Bremen, a tribute to Dr Ludolf Jenckel
Jochen Franzen

A short story about the life of Curt Brunnee
Michael C. ten Noever de Brauw

The European history of peptide and protein mass spectrometry
Peter Roepstorff

Applications to small biomolecules and developments in Central and Eastern Europe
Karoly Vekey

Industrial and environmental applications
Jim Scrivens

Scientific societies and meetings in Europe
Alison E. Ashcroft


Keith R. Jennings worked on various aspects of mass spectrometry for over 40 years at the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick. He was a recipient of the ASMS Distinguished Contribution to Mass Spectrometry Award, the ACS Field and Franklin Award and the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation Thomson Medal and the BMSS Aston Medal for his work on metastable transitions and collision-induced decomposition of ions. He is a former chairman of BMSS and was the author of nearly 200 publications and has lectured in more than 20 countries on mass spectrometry.