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A Student Guide for SIMION Modeling Software

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Kenneth L Busch, Georgia Institute of Technology and Steven Colby, Scientific Instrument Services, Inc.

A variety of ion modeling experiments in mass spectrometry, ion beam systems and other ion optical devices have been included in a student lab guide for SIMION, complimenting the student version of this software package that has recently become available. The experiments are written at the advance undergraduate and beginning graduate student level. The pedagrogical goal is to use the modeling capabilities of the SIMION program to explore the consequences of "what if?" questions, and to display the basic physical principles of ion optics.

For example, in the design of an ion lens system for beam manipulation in a mass spectrometer, the effects of changing the number of ion optical elements, varying the voltages applied to them, and varying their sizes and shapes can be readily extabished using the Simion program. Experiments in the student lab guide are supported by references to work in the original literature in which such calcualtions are used. In each student experiment, specific guideposts to the use of the SIMION program are included, but the actual modeling requires substantial student input so that all facets of the program are fully explored.