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GC/MS is a coupled chemical analysis technique that utilizes the strengths of both of the instruments involved in chemical separation and identification of constituents. The GC (gas chromatogram) is an instrument that separates chemical mixtures (liquid or gaseous mixtures). The mixture is injected into a high temperature port where it travels through as a gas through a column. The column has a chemical lined core that interacts with the mixture. The mixture will either "stick" to the column (through chemical attraction) or pass through the column unaffected.
This will organically separate the chemical constituents and alter the time it takes for each of the compounds to reach the detector. The detector in the coupled GC/MS instrument is a Mass Spectrum. This mass spectrum bombards the chemical compound that reaches it. This bombardment fragments the compound and the overall fragmenting pattern is recorded into a "fingerprint" configuration that is reproducible. This fragmenting is compared to a database library that is NIST standardized and is used to identify any of the compounds.GC/MS Explained Optical Rotation Measurements