Posted by Chloe on Monday, October 13, 2008 at 7:13pm.
From a mass spectrometer we will get some peaks that might be drawn on a piece of graph paper like this:


 
 
 
  
  
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I've tried to draw two vertical lines of different lengths. If they turn out that way that's good. If not, just imagine that we have two vertical lines along the x axis and one line is higher than the other. The y axis is the relative abundance of each line (in mass spectrometer language the x axis is the mass and the y axis is the relative abundance.) The relative abundance is just a number. In fact, the operator of the M. S. can make them move up or down on the y axis as s/he chooses. So we can get a meter stick, measure the length of each, and add them to get a total. Then we can do the percent of each. The percent is just the relative abundance on the meter stick scale divided by the total of all the peaks and that times 100.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it!