Faculty Sponsor: Dr. John Yukich
Water molecules have two hydrogen atoms, each of which has a nucleus made up of one proton. These protons have an intrinsic magnetic moment, which can be aligned to a magnetic field. In this experiment we align the nuclei with a magnetic field set perpendicular to the Earth’s magnetic field. When our magnetic field is abruptly turned off, the nuclei precess to align with the Earth’s field, a process that we are able to observe using the Teach Spin Earth’s Magnetic Field NMR apparatus. We analyze properties of the magnetization and precession of the hydrogen nuclei, compare the effects of the sample mass and density, and use magnetic field gradients to correct for inhomogeneities in the Earth’s field and conduct rudimentary, one dimensional MRIs.