MadSci Network: Physics

Re: What methods/apparatus would you use to monitor a source of ionisation?

Date: Wed Jul 25 10:01:43 2007
Posted By: Michael Maskell, Patent Examiner, TC2800 - Physics
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1185273426.Ph

Well, if all you have to go on are the ionized particles, there's not much 
you can do to figure out just how they became ionized...  An ion is an 
ion, once it's produced there's no way to tell if it happened by electron 
impact, photoionization, etc...

Now, you could use a mass spectrometer to identify exactly which 
components of the air have been ionized...  In this case you'd turn off 
the built in ionizer of the mass spectrometer and just let it sample ions 
from your mystery ionization source.  Compare the mass peaks you find to 
the composition of air, and see if anything is NOT being ionized by your 
source...  Maybe that would give you some sort of clue.

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