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Welcome to

Through we aim to improve the knowledge and imaging capabilities of Radiographers, Radiology Technologists and Medical Professionals worldwide.

We hope to provide a clear and easily accessible guide to many of the practical aspects of MRI all in one site.

Please bear with us as we completely redevelop the site and update with new content regularly.


History of magnetic resonance imaging

This section aims to pay tribute to the people who have made the modality of MRI possible, to whom we are greatly indebted.

Magnets were first discovered by the Romans more than 2000 years ago. Over the years, the understanding of the magnet has increased and many applications have developed.

The history of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), now known as MRI, begins with a French mathematician Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830) who developed a mathematical method to analyze the heat transfer between solid bodies. Later this discovery made rapid processing of phase and frequency signals possible in NMR.

Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830)

The unit strength of a magnetic field is the Tesla (1 Tesla = 1 Newton/Ampere-meter) and is named after Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) who discovered the rotating magnetic field.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943)

An Irish physicist, Sir Joseph Larmor (1857–1942) discovered a way to calculate the rate at which energy is radiated by an accelerated electron. He also explained the splitting of spectrum lines by a magnetic field. He is famous in the field of NMR for the so-called larmor equation, which states that the frequency of precession of the nuclear magnetic moment (ω) is directly proportional to the product of the magnetic field strength (B0) and the gyromagnetic ratio (γ ): ω = γB0.

Sir Joseph Larmor (1857–1942)

An Austrian, Isidor Rabi (1898–1988) working in the Department of Physics at Columbia University in New York discovered a way to detect and measure single states of rotation of atoms and molecules. He also succeeded in determining the magnetic moments of the nuclei. For his discoveries, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944.


Isidor Rabi (1898–1988)

In the 1940s, Felix Bloch working at Stanford University and Edward Purcell from Harvard University independent of each other, described a physicochemical phenomenon which was based on the magnetic properties of certain nuclei in the periodic system. They found that when certain nuclei were placed in a magnetic field they absorbed energy in the electromagnetic spectrum and re-emitted this energy when they returned to their original state. The strength of the magnetic field and the radiofrequency matched each other according to the Larmor relationship. For this discovery, Bloch and Purcell were awarded with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1952.

flex bloch and Edward Mills Purcell

In 1971, Raymond Damadian from Downstate Medical Center in New York measured T1 and T2 relaxation times of normal and cancerous rat tissues and found that normal tissue had shorter relaxation times than the tumour tissue.


Raymond Damadian

In 1974, Paul C. Lauterbur, a professor of chemistry and radiology at New York University and Peter Mansfield from the department of physics at the Nottingham University England independent of each other, described the use of magnetic field gradients for spatial localization of NMR signals. These discoveries led to the foundation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). For this discovery, Lauterbur and Mansfield were awarded with the nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 2003.


peter mansfield and Paul Lauterbur

In 1975, a Swiss physical chemist Richard Ernst described the use of Fourier transform of phase and frequency encoding to reconstruct 2D images. For this discovery he was awarded with the nobel prize for chemistry in 1991.

Richard Ernst

Later in  1975, Peter Mansfield and Andrew Maudsley proposed a line scan technique, which led to the first cross sectional imaging of human anatomy (cross section through a finger). In 1978, Hugh Clow and Ian R. Young worked at a British company called EMI, created  the first transverse NMR image through a human head.

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