New Book Provides Lifeline for Students Learning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance


Students interested in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) now have another good reference book to help them get started: the Fundamentals of Recoupling and Decoupling Techniques in Solid-State NMR. The book by Physics Associate Professor Physics faculty Bo Chen, Ph.D., was just published by the American Institute of Physics, LLC (AIP).

The book covers a wide range of topics, from a basic introduction to advanced solid-state NMR. Specifically, it incorporates step-by-step derivations with detailed instruction of tensor calculus to help students learn about modern magic angle spinning techniques in ssNMR.

“To help alleviate the learning hurdles, I reviewed the classic works, laying out detailed derivation steps, so those with upper-level physics training as an undergraduate, or as a junior graduate student, can quickly develop a systematic understanding of the field and master skills essential to up-to-date ssNMR spectroscopy,” Chen said.

The topics cover the last 60 years of advancement in NMR, and explain quantum mechanics and derivation tricks unique to that field. Chen finds these topics typically challenge new students.

“I can still recall how intimidated I was as a graduate student reading the papers and textbooks,” Chen said. “Facing the complicated formulas and derivations, I found it was often difficult or impossible to follow or even start the derivation and I couldn’t figure out how one step led to the next.”

Group leaders in university research institutes may also find it helpful when designing a graduate course for NMR.

This is Chen’s first book, and was written while he was on sabbatical.

“Finally, I got the opportunity to redeem myself in my sabbatical semester. With tenure in my hand, I could temporarily forget about the pressure of work, really sit down to clear up all those questions for myself, and more importantly, maybe help those beginners just like me,” he said.

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