Paul Lauterbur

From Academic Kids

Paul Christian Lauterbur, (born May 6, 1929) is an American chemist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003 with Peter Mansfield for his work which made the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) possible. Dr. Lauterbur is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Nobel Prize in Physics in 1952, which went to Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell, was for the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the scientific principle behind MRI. However, for decades magnetic resonance was used mainly for studying the chemical structure of substances. It wasn't until the 1970s with Lauterbur's and Mansfield's developments that NMR could be used to produce images of the body.

Lauterbur is credited for the idea of introducing gradients in the magnetic field which allows for determining the origin of the radio waves emitted from the nuclei of the object of study. This spatial information allows two-dimensional pictures to be produced.

His original MRI machine is located at the Chemistry building on the campus of Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York.

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