Prof. F.W. Aston’s original Aston Mass-Spectrograph complete with magnet. The first mass spectograph was designed by Cambridge scientist F W Aston. Francis William Aston FRS (1 September – 20 November ) was an English chemist and physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery, by means of his mass spectrograph, of isotopes. W. Wien’s first mass analysis to J.J. Thomson’s discovery of isotopes, F.W. Aston’s mass spectrometers, and the Mattauch–Herzog double focusing spectrometer.
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The chemical determination of atomic weights gives the average weight for an aggregate of a large number of atoms. Although this is useful in many applications, the determination of the masses of individual atoms gives further important information, in particular the stability of the atoms or more precisely of their nuclei.
The first accurate determination of the masses of individual atoms was made by Aston in His measurements demonstrated the existence of isotopes in non-radioactive elements and paved the way for our present picture of the nuclear atom.
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Francis William Aston – Wikipedia
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