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Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI

September 24 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT


Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI

Where did it come from?

How does it work?

What’s that loud banging noise?



How did we get from the image on the left to the one on the right?



The great progenitor of MRI is NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance). The phenomenon of magnetic resonance was initially discovered by physicists, after which chemists turned the basic science into NMR, an essential tool for probing the structure and dynamics of molecules.  In a classic story of how science works, physicists, chemists, and physicians are all responsible for the initial and continuing development of MRI, and the story of these connections provides a classic glimpse of how science works and of the occasional controversies associated with Nobel Prizes.

This presentation describes the path from molecular beams studied in vacuum to probe fundamental properties of matter all the way to the widespread use of non-invasive MRI to diagnose an impressive range of medical conditions.  In addition, on the research front we’ll look at the use of MRI to pursue the tantalizing question of ‘what is thought.’ Along the way we’ll also talk about why the scanner makes a banging noise that many who have experienced liken to a jackhammer.


Presentation by Natalie Foster // Prof. Emerita: Chemistry Dept. // Lehigh University 


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September 24
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT




Chantal Jager

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