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Analytical Seminar-Prof. Richard Yost, University of Florida

May 5 @ 12:05 pm - 1:05 pm

Professor Richard Yost

University of Florida

The Triple Quadrupole: Innovation, Serendipity and Persistence

In this presentation I will provide a personal perspective on the conceptualization, development and demonstration of the analytical capabilities of the triple quadrupole mass spectrometer.  And in that perspective, I will try to illustrate the roles of innovation, serendipity and persistence that are fundamental to scientific research.

The triple quadrupole mass spectrometer has become the most common mass spectrometer in the world today, with sales of over $1 billion per year.   It is the gold standard for quantitative analysis in metabolomics, clinical analysis, drug discovery and development, and environmental analysis.  But when I proposed that instrument as the “ultimate computerized analytical instrument” as a new PhD student in Chris Enke’s research group at Michigan State University in 1975, the NSF reviews were uniformly negative, with experts in the field unanimous that the proposed instrument would never work.  Fortunately, ONR funded the proposal, and the instrument did work!

In the 45 years since, mass spectrometry has evolved from a niche research area, largely for fundamental chemistry studies, into a practical, widely available analytical technique.  Indeed, one can hardly name a significant advancement in science that was not made possible by the inventions and development of new tools to see something or measure something, and that includes everything from litmus paper to giant telescopes on mountaintops. And common to these inventions and developments have been innovation, serendipity and persistence.

Poster_Prof. Yost


May 5
12:05 pm - 1:05 pm
Event Category:


Virtual in Zoom
53706 United States


Prof. Josh Coon


Meeting Type