Physics in Perspective

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 123–135 | Cite as

Early History of Magnetic Resonance

  • N. F. Ramsey


The early history of magnetic resonance to around 1950 is discussed from the point of view of a participant in it. I. I. Rabi’s theory of space quantization in a gyrating magnetic field and his molecular beam experiments in the 1930s laid the foundation of the magnetic resonance method, which he and his associates subsequently pursued and developed further at Columbia University, leading eventually to the development of NMR after World War II and the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method in 1950.

Key words

Molecular beams nuclear magnetic resonance magnetic resonance imaging microwave spectroscopy radiofrequency spectroscopy oscillatory field method nuclear magnetic moments paramagnetic resonance optical pumping 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. F. Ramsey
    • 1
  1. 1.Lyman Laboratory of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA, e-mail: ramsey@physics.harvard.eduUS

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