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The existence of forms of the same element with different masses had been suspected since it had been found that many pairs of radioactive materials could not be separated by chemical means.The name Frederick Soddy in 1913 for these different radioactive forms of the same chemical species, because they could be classified in the same place in the periodic table of the elements.

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Sources with magnetic fields parallel to the electric fields can yield beams greater than one milliampere.

mass spectrographs, and they operate on the principle that moving ions may be deflected by electric and magnetic fields.

The two instruments differ only in the way in which the sorted charged particles are detected.

The two fields in Thomson’s tube were situated so that the ions were deflected through small angles in two perpendicular directions.

The net result was that the ions produced a series of parabolic curves on a photographic plate placed in their paths.

The most noteworthy observation made with the parabola spectrography was the spectrum of rare gases present in the atmosphere.

In addition to lines due to helium (mass 4), neon (mass 20), and argon (mass 40), there was a line corresponding to an ion of mass 22 that could not be attributed to any known gas.

The resolving power, or Josef Mattauch, in Germany, independently developed instruments with electric and magnetic fields arranged in tandem in such a way that ion beams that emerged from the source slits in divergent directions and with different velocities were refocused. Smythe first proposed such a device in 1926 based on electrodes to which radio-frequency voltages are applied and which are arranged so that ions of a given velocity pass undeflected.

He built a working model a few years later in collaboration with Mattauch.

In Dempster’s machine, an ion beam homogeneous in mass and energy but diverging from a slit could be brought to a direction focus.

This spectrometer was employed by Dempster to make accurate determinations of the abundances of the isotopes of magnesium, lithium, potassium, calcium, and zinc, laying the foundation for similar measurements of the isotopes of all the elements.

In 1953 the West German physicists quadrupole mass spectrometer.