NMR is a technique to detect the state of nuclear spin. a similar technique on electron spin is call ESR ( electron spin resonance)
The principle of NMR is simple.
- apply a B-field, and the spin will align with it due to interaction with surrounding and precessing along the B-field with Larmor frequency, and go to Boltzmann equilibrium. the time for the spin align with the field is call T1, longitudinal relaxation time.
- Then, we send a pule perpendicular to the B-field, it usually a radio frequency pulse. the frequency is determined by the resonance frequency, which is same as the Larmor frequency. the function of this pulse is from the B-field of it and this perpendicular B-field with perturb the spin and flip it 90 degrees.
- when the spin are rotate at 90 degrees with the static B-field, it will generate a strong enough signal around the coil. ( which is the same coil to generate the pule ) and this signal is called NMR signal.
- since the spins will be affected by its environment, and experience a slightly different precession frequency. when the time goes, they will not aligned well, some precess faster, some slower. thus, the transverse magnetization will lost and look as if it decay. the time for this is called T2, transverse relaxation time.
by analyzing the T1 and T2 and also Larmor frequency, we can known the spin, the magnetization, the structure of the sample, the chemical element, the chemical formula, and alot many others thing by different kinds of techniques.
For nuclear physics, the use of NMR is for understand the nuclear spin. for example, the polarization of the spin.