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Aston, Francis William

British physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1922 for his development of the mass spectrograph, a device that separates atoms or molecular fragments of different mass and measures those masses with remarkable accuracy. Aston used the mass spectograph to discover a large number of nuclides, or nuclear species that differ in mass. The mass spectrograph is widely used in geology, chemistry, biology, and nuclear physics.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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