Arthur Jeffrey Dempster


August 14th 1886 - March 11th 1950
 

A Canadian-American physicist best known for his work in mass spectrometry and his discovery of the uranium isotope 235U.
In 1918, Dempster developed the first modern mass spectrometer, a scientific aparatus allowing physicists to identify compounds by the mass of elements in a sample, and determine the isotopic composition of elements in a sample. Dempster's mass spectrometer was over 100 times more accurate than previous versions, and established the basic theory and design of mass spectrometers that is still used to this day. Dempster's research over his career centered around the mass spectrometer and its applications, leading in 1935 to his discovery of the uranium isotope 235U. This isotope's ability to cause a rapidly expanding fission nuclear chain reaction allowed the development of the atom bomb and nuclear power. 

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