In medicine, what does the “R” in MRI stand for?
Answer: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures of the body in detail. The technique uses a very powerful magnet to align the nuclei of atoms inside the body, and a variable magnetic field that causes the atoms to resonate, a phenomenon called nuclear magnetic resonance. The nuclei produce their own rotating magnetic fields that a scanner detects and uses to create an image. MRI is widely used for medical diagnosis, staging of disease and follow-up without exposing the body to ionizing radiation.
In physics, resonance is a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific preferential frequency. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is the name given to a physical resonance phenomenon involving the observation of specific quantum mechanical magnetic properties of an atomic nucleus in the presence of an applied, external magnetic field. Many scientific techniques exploit NMR phenomena to study molecular physics, crystals, and non-crystalline materials through NMR spectroscopy. NMR is also routinely used in advanced medical imaging techniques, such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).