STEVIE GRAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVIE GRAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Doctors studying a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) computer image of a patient's head: the patient who has just been scanned is visible through the window. NMR imaging is capable of differentiating soft body tissues & unlike CT (X-ray) scanning does not rely on ionising radiation. NMR imaging studies the physical behaviour of atomic particles (protons) in body tissues that are subjected to a strong magnetic field. When the magnetic field is interrupted by brief bursts of radio waves, the protons themselves behave as small radio- transmitters, supplying signals from which an image is ultimately constructed.
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