Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 2

        Today, Elaine and I learned tons about the basics of MRI from Dr. Hornak. We covered areas including math principles used in MRI such as integrals, differentials, and convolution. We also spent some time on the important physics concepts, most notably, spin physics. Having taken previous physics courses, it was interesting combining past knowledge with the specifics of MRI. After a few hours of learning about the science of MRI, we went down to the lab.
         The NMR machine got refilled with liquid nitrogen while we were there. The nitrogen was pumped through plastic tubes into the machine. It was a lot of fun to watch because the tubes had a layer of frost within a matter of minutes. While we were in the lab, Dr. Hornak gave us a tutorial on how to insert a sample into the NMR machine and use the program to image a thin slice of it as well as to find the frequencies of the compounds within the sample. These frequencies could then be converted into pixel intensity and thus you get an image. We also learned how to adjust the program to have an optimal signal reading from the machine. Elaine and I then got to do it on our own and we imaged water and capulary tubes in water. Now we are currently brainstorming possible substances to put in the tube that would display an interesting image slice. The catch is that it has to be small enough to fit into a 4.5mm diameter tube but large enough for the NMR machine to display a detailed image. It's been very interesting so far and I feel like I'm learning so much. Looking forward to tomorrow...
Capulary tubes in water


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