Recent advances in mass spectrometry have allowed isotope scientists to precisely determine stable isotope variations in the metallic elements. Biologically infl uenced and truly inorganic isotope fractionation processes have been demonstrated over the mass range of metals. This Elements issue provides an overview of the application of metal stable isotopes to low-temperature systems, which extend across the borders of several science disciplines: geology, hydrology, biology, environmental science, and biomedicine. Information on instrumentation, fractionation processes, data-reporting terminology, and reference materials presented here will help the reader to better understand this rapidly evolving field.
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Metal stable isotopes in low-temperature systems: A primer