The origins and present status of the radio wave controversy in NMR

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Journal titleConcepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A
Pages193216; # of pages: 24
Subjectradio waves; coherent spontaneous emission; Faraday induction; virtual photons; Uncertainty Principle
AbstractThe origins, history, and present status of the controversy surrounding a quantum description of the NMR signal as being due to radio waves are traced. With the Principle of Relativity and Coulomb's Law as formal starting points and the minimum of mathematics needed for understanding, the derivation of a classical electromagnetic theory of signal reception is first given. The agreement between that classical theory and a recent NMR experiment is then presented, leading to proof that, except for the highest field imaging experiments, there is no significant contribution of radio waves to the signal. Attention is drawn to the very different properties of the near and far energy, momenta, and fields inherent in the derivation. The role of the Correspondence Principle in formulating a quantum description is then emphasized and it is shown that the standard NMR interpretation of Dicke's theory of coherent spontaneous emission—that the latter is responsible for the NMR signal—cannot be correct. Finally, the author speculates on some of the intriguing relationships found in the classical electrodynamics of NMR signal reception and attempts to relate them to a common quantum electrodynamic precept of near field interaction: that the free induction decay voltage present at the terminals of an open-circuit receiving coil is based on an exchange of virtual photons between the nuclei in a sample and the free electrons in a receiving coil. © 2009 Crown in the right of Canada. Concepts Magn Reson Part A 34A: 193–216, 2009.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Biodiagnostics; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19939770
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Record identifierd1bbfe5c-d040-48fc-a8d5-d74149a16b4f
Record created2012-05-11
Record modified2016-05-09
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