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PX388 - Magnetic Resonance

  • Module code: PX388
  • Module name: Magnetic Resonance
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module aims to show how quantum and classical physical principles may be combined to describe how the intrinsic spin of nuclei and electrons is exploited in the phenomena of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). It will explain why magnetic resonance methods are such indispensable analytical tools in science today, in particular how NMR is used to form three-dimensional images (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI), and how molecular-level structure is revealed by the interactions that lead to fine detail in NMR and EPR spectra.

Principal learning outcomes

"At the end of the module you should: understand the physics of the NMR and EPR phenomena, i.e. the behaviour of nuclear and electron spins in magnetic fields know how NMR and EPR experiments are performed, i.e. what hardware is required; appreciate how simple pulsed MR experiments work, e.g. the inversion recovery and spin-echo experiments for measuring the T1 and T2 relaxation times; be able to explain how three-dimensional images are formed in the MRI technique by the combination of pulsed MR with magnetic field gradients; understand how the interaction of a nuclear or electron spin with its atomic environment leads to fine structure in NMR and EPR spectra and how this can reveal structural detail on the atomic scale."

Timetabled teaching activities

15 Lectures

Departmental link

Other essential notes

You have probably heard about the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in medical diagnosis. In fact, magnetic resonance in nuclei - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) - and in electrons - Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) - had existed as powerful tools used across science for several decades before being applied in the medical arena. This module describes the physics behind the magnetic resonance techniques - NMR and EPR are excellent experimental evidence for the existence of nuclear and electron spin - and shows why these techniques have found numerous applications in diverse fields including biology, chemistry, medicine, and materials science.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX388-7.5)
B (Examination only) 1.5 hr exam (Summer) Magnetic Resonance 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange) PART YEAR 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year) (F301) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year) (GF14) - Year 4