Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry and Medicine
Oxford University Press, 2003
This relatively slim volume (278 pages) is an attempt to explain a complicated topic "in the simplest possible terms" in order to be valuable to a wide range of readers, from patients to undergraduate students to practicing clinicians. The publisher describes the book as having an "expanded-outline format" . The result is mostly successful. Many topics are covered in the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to chemistry, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to medicine, including a chapter on new developments in the functional MRI of the brain. The underlying physical principles involved are described with very little mathematics or weighty chemistry or physics.
The book is very readable. Quantum mechanics is treated almost entirely by simplified pictorials. Acronyms and abbreviations are reduced to a minimum, and all that are used are given in a table.
There are some shortcomings. There is no author list. The subject index could be improved; for instance, the word "artefacts" is listed as page 76, which is correct, but there is a discussion of motion artefacts on page 203. Artefacts, as described, cover only some types of these unwanted signals. Another important type of artefact is one in which the MRI signal is lost because of the presence of a nearby metal, such as an aneurism clip.
In view of the recent award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine for MRI, books such as this one will get renewed interest. In this book, the fundamental paper of both new Nobel Laureates, Paul C. Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, are appropriately referenced. I recommend Ray Freeman's book.
Larry H. Bennett
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