Estimating Average Atomic Mass, Mass Spectroscopy: 82 to 86

Moderate

A sample of a certain element is analyzed using a mass spectrophotometer.

Using the result of the analysis, shown below, which of the following best explains how to estimate the average atomic mass of this element?

A

To calculate the average atomic mass of an element, one would add up the individual masses (the mass value of each peak in the graph) and divide by the number of isotopes (the number of peaks).

B

To estimate the average atomic mass of the element, one would choose the value of the most abundant isotope since that version is found most often and represents the most common version of that element (would be 84 amu in this case).

C

To find the average atomic mass of an element, one would calculate a weighted average, taking into account the abundance of each isotope.

D

To find the average atomic mass of an element, one cites information not only from the results of a mass spectroscopy analysis but also from melting point data of each isotope.