I am currently studying the textbook Mass Spectrometry - A Textbook, third edition, by Jürgen Gross. Chapter 1.4.4 Mass Spectrum says the following:
The most intense peak of a mass spectrum is called base peak. In most representations of mass spectral data the intensity of the base peak is normalized to 100% relative intensity. This largely helps to make mass spectra more easily comparable. The normalization can be done because the relative intensities are basically independent from the absolute ion abundances registered by the detector.
I don't understand how it makes sense to say that the relative intensities are independent from the absolute ion abundances. It seems clear to me that the contrary is true; that is, that the relative intensities are derived from the recorded absolute ion abundances registered by the detector, and so the relative intensities are dependent on the absolute ion abundances. After all, the detector records the absolute ion abundances first, and then uses these values to calculate the relatives intensities, right? I'm not sure that it would make much sense to say that it was the other way around.
I would greatly appreciate it if people would please take the time to clarify this.