S. Aravamudhan


The early efforts to detect nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) when reviewed, carries a valuable message on how to go about making discoveries of phenomena on the basis of what is known already. Particularly the instrumentation is an effort which has an outlook on enterprises that provide various laboratory equipments and assembling these units in a way that brings out precisely what is being looked for is a creative preoccupation in scientific research. The kind of home-built spectrometers which have been used by every researcher for the achievements in the NMR spectroscopic technique  is an example of the material manipulation to improve stage by stage thoughtfully knowing what went on before. Thus the review would have educative value while revealing the lessons on scientific matter studied. NMR of the current days is aplenty with commercial spectrometers which have unimaginable features built in and produce high quality spectra automatically without the user having to know much about the settings. Essentially black-box approach to the use of the spectrometers makes possible strides in leaps and jumps in a wide variety of disciplines of study. On the other hand the early efforts have been more educative on the equipments and instrumentation aspects. The researchers themselves had a hand on laboratory exercise to make the equipment for what they have to research on. In this contrasting situation a review of the early days NMR instrumentation is provided in this article for the benefit of student community to find an occupation while innovating their learning methods. Descriptions in this article are oriented towards school and college standards so as  to inspire the readers to look for more on instrumental methods and grasp the recent advances quickly and confidently in these days of conveniently automated and much simplified ‘black-box’ approach to use of  instruments. An important point to mention is that the circuit diagrams given in this articles are the author’s original version of block diagrams or schemes similar to concept diagrams (pedagogically speaking) to introduce  newly certain topics. Hence the students should not expect to plug in working circuits to see the functions. Note carefully that no specific component value is given nor any model numbers to commercially available components – even the circuit elements are not copied ones but drawn by the author with MS WORD drawing tools.

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