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Posted by Indigo on June 3, 2004 16:41:57 UTC

omg....the "Twenty Seven Principal" observation that I've the code to this!

How NMR works
In NMR, the sample to be tested is placed in a static external magnetic field. An antenna (usually a coil-shaped inductor with the sample inside) is used to irradiate the sample with radio waves. At certain frequencies, atomic nuclei within the sample will absorb the radiation and enter an excited state. After a time, the nuclei will re-emit the radiation, which can be detected by the antenna. Finally, a measurement is taken of how much radiation is re-emitted, and when.

Only nuclei with non zero magnetic moment can undergo NMR. Such nuclei must have an odd number of protons or neutrons (e.g. 1H, 2H, 13C, 15N, 31P, 19F).

A description of the interaction of atomic nuclei with the magnetic field involves both quantum and classical effects, and this gives rise to two different interpretations of some parts of the process. Both interpretations are discussed in the sections that follow.

A technique related to NMR is electron spin resonance that deals with electrons instead of nuclei. The principles are otherwise similar.

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