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August 9, 2012

Protons Being Flipped

A representation of protons being flipped inside a person undergoing an MRI scan. It was thought protons took the direct, gray path as they changed orientation, but they actually take the orange and sometimes very indirect route.

This image was taken as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported research project run by professor Philip Grandinetti of Ohio State University, to work on the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for the analysis of the structure and composition of disordered solids. The efforts of Grandinetti and his team focus on the refinement of the rotary resonance technique developed earlier in the Grandinetti laboratory, and development of methods to determine oxygen coordination number using the oxygen-17 isotope as a probe. The new NMR methods will then be used to determine the distribution of structures in various silicate glass compositions.

The relationship between the molecular structure and physical properties of glasses is an important technological issue, but is not currently well understood. Professor Grandinetti's research will contribute to the understanding of these relationships, not only in glassy materials but in disordered solids in general. [Research supported by NSF grant CHE 06-16881.] (Date of Image: November 2008)

Credit: Gwendal Kervern, University of Lyon

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