The Modern Chemistry Lab

Spectroscopy and Spectrometry

When I get an MRI, what is the machine actually measuring?

An MRI is basically just performing an NMR measurement on the hydrogen atoms in your body. Similar to an NMR instrument, an MRI instrument uses a large magnet and a radio frequency pulse to generate a rotating net magnetization in the hydrogen atoms in your body. The resulting magnetization generates an electric current in a receiver in the MRI instrument that can be processed to generate an image of what’s going on inside your body.


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