Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Nuclear magnetic resonance is a technique used to analyze materials and samples on a molecular level to characterize them. The physical property it is utilizes is called precession, whereby an atom nucleus in a strong magnetic field begins to spin, much like a spinning top. This spinning motion leads to the generation of waves that can be detected and measured.  Each atom, and by extension molecule, will exhibit different spinning patterns when placed in such a magnetic field due to their inherently different internal structures and properties; the measured waves will thus enable differentiation of the elements in a material or sample, which thereby allow for detailed characterization. This same principle is used in magnetic resonance imaging, better known as MRI.