Introductory Magnetic Resonance Imaging Physics

Aaron D. Sodickson, Daniel K. Sodickson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter introduces the key conceptual underpinnings of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with an intuitive description of the underlying physics. The behavior of proton magnetization within an externally applied magnetic field is described, as is the use of radiofrequency magnetic field pulses to manipulate magnetization and create detectable signal. Determinants of image contrast are explored by describing the growth and disappearance of longitudinal and transverse magnetization due to the effects of the inherent tissue T1 and T2 relaxation rates during the repetition time and echo time. Spatial localization by magnetic field gradients is explained, including a conceptual description of k-space and Fourier transformation. These elements of signal creation, image contrast creation, and spatial localization are brought together as building blocks of the basic MRI pulse sequence. Other commonly used techniques are introduced, including diffusion weighted and susceptbility weighted imaging, motion compensation methods, and parallel imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Neuro-Oncology Neuroimaging
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128011683
ISBN (Print)9780128009451
StatePublished - Apr 12 2016


  • K-space
  • MRI physics
  • Magnetic field gradient
  • Spin relaxation T1 and T2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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