Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Magnetic Resonance Imaging :: MRI
The Faces Behind the Discovery of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Isidor Isaac Rabi He won the 1944 Nobel Prize in Physics for his "resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei." He was the one to discover that protons have magnetic moments and that they precess around an external magnetic field. His experiments (on nuclei) revealed the jump between energy states of the proton when resonated with radio frequency waves. Felix Bloch & Edward Purcell Both men independently took Rabi's experiments to the next level - condensed matter. Purcell Bloch These men were awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for the "nuclear magnetic resonance in condensed matter." Paul Lauterbur Lauterbur discovered that images could be produced from the magnetic properties of the protons. This will now be called magnetic resonance imaging. Paul is a professor at the University of Illinois He was the first to use a magnetic field gradient to vary the resonant frequencies of spinning atoms. Although his images were very difficult to produce, he had a variety - glass tubes, mouse thoracic cavity, and the first human body part - a finger!! Richard Ernst He discovered that sending pulsed signals through a changing magnetic field would produce images very quickly. This made it possible for health professionals to actually be able to utilize MRI. He was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy." All of these men contributed tremendously to the design and implementation of MRI scanning machines in hospitals. Now, MRI scans are another common hospital resource. Before MRI scans, X-rays were popular. However, X-rays use ionizing radiation that could be harmful to humans. Now, MRI scans are used for a huge variety of injuries, infections, or illnesses, such as: multiple sclerosis, torn ligaments, tendonitis, cysts, spinal injuries, strokes, and many others. MRI scans can even be used to record brain activity during certain events.