Course Outline


Rad226A is the first half of a two-course sequence covering fundamental principles of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) focusing on the analytic tools needed to understand interactions among nuclear spins and how these interactions give rise to the signals and image contrast observed from in vivo studies. Following a review of classical MRI, we’ll cover the quantum mechanical description of NMR, which provides deeper insights into nuclear spin physics. We’ll then study J-coupling, the most mathematically tractable coupling mechanism, and its fundamental importance in MRS. In Part II (Rad 226B), we will extend these concepts to develop the NMR relaxation theory needed to analyze the behavior of spin-spin and spin-lattice couplings in the presence of in vivo molecular tumbling and chemical exchange. This theory provides the foundation for analyzing multiple in vivo MRI contrast mechanisms and contrast agents.

This Outline may be updated during the course.
More details can be found at the Schedule link.


Section A: Introduction and MRI Review

  • Introduction and overview

  • Review of classical MRI

Section B: Quantum Mechanics

  • Introduction to quantum mechanics

  • Mathematics of quantum mechanics

  • Postulates of quantum mechanics

Section C: Spin Physics

  • NMR in Hilbert space

  • NMR in Liouville space

  • The nuclear spin Hamiltonian

  • The density operator, populations, and coherences

  • The product operator formulism

Section D: Pulse Sequence Examples

  • Polarization transfer

  • Spectral editing

Section E: In Vivo Spectroscopy

  • In Vivo MRS-detectable Metabolites

  • 1H MRS methods and applications

Section F: Special Topics

  • Editing for GABA

  • Oxidative stress in the brain

  • Neurotransmitter cycling and 13C MRS

  • Fast spin echo, spin locking, and decoupling

Important Dates

See Schedule