Spectroscopy

Fred W. McLafferty
Fred W. McLafferty

Scientists use spectroscopy to determine the identities, quantities, and structures of compounds. There are four categories of spectroscopy: 1) Optical spectroscopy; 2) X-ray spectroscopy; 3) Nuclear magnetic spectroscopy; 4) Mass spectroscopy.

J.J. Thomson made the first mass spectrometer in 1899. R. S. Golhke, F. McLafferty, B. Wiley, and D. Harrington first applied GC/MS (the technique you are learning about this week!) in 1956.

Fred W. McLafferty, born in 1923, earned his Bachelor's of Science and Masters degree from the University of Nebraska. He was awarded his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1950. In 1959, he discovered a rearrangement (that you will learn about in class!) that bears his name. McLafferty is now a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University

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