Question

What is the difference between NMR, MRI and ESR?

Asked by: A.V. Ravishankar Sarma

Answer

The acronyms:

NMR = Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is the resonance that occurs when a nucleus (usually hydrogen, but any nucleus that has non-zero spin will work) is placed in a magnetic field and is 'swept' by a radio frequency that causes the nuclei to 'flip'. This causes the radio frequency to be absorbed, which is what is measured.

MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a more complex application of NMR in which the geometric source of the resonances are detected and deconvoluted by Fourier transform analysis.

ESR = Electron Spin Resonance is also a resonance phenomenon, except in this case it is the spin of an unpaired electron that is in resonance, rather than a nuclear spin.

Answered by: Vince Calder, Ph.D., Physical Chemist, retired

Search

Loading






Science Quote

'To myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.'

Isaac Newton
(1643-1727)
Science Sidebar | Science Education Articles
Cool Summer Science Projects

Why not make science a part of your family’s summer? Perhaps you can set aside one day a week for outdoor projects—maybe Mad Scientist Monday or Scientific Saturday? Here are a few ideas to help get you started. Continue reading ...

10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Interested In Science

Young children are natural scientists: they ask questions, pick up sticks and bugs outside, and are curious about the world around them. But as they get a bit older, many kids gradually lose their interest in science. They might see it as just another task at school, something that doesn't apply to their lives. Of course nothing could be further from the truth, so here are ten ways you can remind your kids that science is everywhere. Most of these are fun for adults, too! Continue reading ...

Top Selling

Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
Magnetic Levitator - Classic
3D Magnetic Field Tube
Revolving Multi-Color Fiberoptic Light
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
Periscope
Tin Can Robot 4M Kit
Solar Radiometer
Wood Grain Newtons Cradle
12 inch Galileo Thermometer
21 inch Galileo Thermometer

Sponsors

USC University of Southern California Dornsife College Physics and Astronomy Department McMaster University Physics and Astronomy Department