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The measurement of nuclear and electron magnetic resonance on bulk materials was made possible by Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell and in 1952 they shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work Until then magnetic resonance was a measurable phenomena in which atoms were shot through a magnet as a beam This was the work of Rabi Therefore the Nobel Prize quality in Bloch and Purcells work was not in the theory of magnetic resonance itself but in the development of instruments which would measure this phenomena in bulk material such as liquids and solids These two laboratories were uniquely suited for this work Bloch was a great quantum mechanic and is credited with much quality work in the quantum mechanics of solids Purcell is an electricity and magnetism physicist who worked on projects like radar during the war His experience in radiofrequency electronics aided in the development of his NMR instrument Blochs firm grasp of quantum mechanics allowed him to look at the problem of magnetic resonance classically while Purcells classical background forced him to look at NMR with a quantum mechanic approach and develop a spectrometer much like the optical spectrometers There is a quantum mechanical property of electrons and some nuclei called spin In the absence of an externally applied magnetic field this property is not observable However even in optical experiments this property can be observed when a magnetic field is applied It was the appearance of split lines in spectroscopic experiments that caused the need for quantum mechanics to include this property Purcell looked at the magnetic resonance experiment with the eyes of an optical spectroscopist He built a double beam spectrometer The two channels were identical except that in one channel an external magnetic field was applied His instrument scanned through the magnetic field and when transitions between the spin energy levels were made he would notice that the power in the channel
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