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Spin echo https://en.wikipedia.

org/wiki/Spin_echo Principle
The spin echo effect was discovered by Erwin Hahn
when he applied two successive 90° pulses separated
by short time period, but detected a signal, the echo,
when no pulse was applied. This phenomenon of spin
echo was explained by Erwin Hahn in his 1950
paper,[5] and further developed by Carr and Purcell
who pointed out the advantages of using a 180°
refocusing pulse for the second pulse.[9] The pulse
sequence may be better understood by breaking it
down into the following steps:

Spin echo animation showing the response of spins (red

arrows) in the blue Bloch sphere to the green pulse sequence
In magnetic resonance, a spin echo is the
refocusing of spin magnetisation by a pulse of
resonant electromagnetic radiation.[1] Modern
nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) make use of this effect.
The NMR signal observed following an initial
excitation pulse decays with time due to both spin
relaxation and any inhomogeneous effects which cause
different spins in the sample to precess at different A. The vertical red arrow is D. A 180 degree pulse
rates. The first of these, relaxation, leads to an the average magnetic is now applied so
irreversible loss of magnetisation. However, the moment of a group of that the slower spins
inhomogeneous dephasing can be removed by spins, such as protons. lead ahead of the
All are vertical in the main moment and
applying a 180° inversion pulse that inverts the vertical magnetic field the fast ones trail
magnetisation vectors.[2] Examples of inhomogeneous and spinning on their behind.
effects include a magnetic field gradient and a long axis, but this E. Progressively, the
distribution of chemical shifts. If the inversion pulse is illustration is in a fast moments catch
applied after a period t of dephasing, the rotating reference frame up with the main
inhomogeneous evolution will rephase to form an echo where the spins are moment and the
at time 2t. In simple cases, the intensity of the echo stationary on average. slow moments drift
relative to the initial signal is given by e–2t/T2 where T2 B. A 90 degree pulse has back toward the
is the time constant for spin-spin relaxation. The echo been applied that flips main moment.
time (TE) is the time between the excitation pulse and the arrow into the F. Complete refocusing
horizontal (x-y) plane. has occurred and at
the peak of the signal.[3] C. Due to local magnetic this time, an
Echo phenomena are important features of coherent field inhomogeneities accurate T2 echo can
spectroscopy which have been used in fields other than (variations in the be measured with all
magnetic resonance including laser spectroscopy[4] and magnetic field at T2* effects removed.
neutron scattering. Echoes were first detected in different parts of the Quite separately,
nuclear magnetic resonance by Erwin Hahn in 1950,[5] sample that are constant return of the red
and spin echoes are sometimes referred to as Hahn in time), as the net arrow towards the
echoes. In nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic moment precesses, some vertical (not shown)
resonance imaging, radiofrequency radiation is most spins slow down due to would reflect the T1
commonly used.[6][7] lower local field strength relaxation. 180
(and so begin to degrees is π radians
In 1972 F. Mezei introduced spin echo neutron progressively trail so 180° pulses are
scattering, a technique that can be used to study behind) while some often called π pulses.
magnons and phonons in single crystals.[8] The speed up due to higher
technique is now applied in research facilities using field strength and start
triple axis spectrometers. getting ahead of the
Contents others. This makes the
• 1 Principle signal decay.
• 2 Spin echo decay
• 3 Stimulated echo
• 4 Photon echo
• 5 See also
• 6 References
• 7 Further reading
• 8 External links
Several simplifications are used in this sequence: no
decoherence is included and each spin experiences
perfect pulses during which the environment provides
no spreading. Six spins are shown above and these are
not given the chance to dephase significantly. The spin
echo technique is more useful when the spins have
dephased more significantly such as in the animation

• J. E. Tanner & E. O. Stejskal (2003). "Restricted Self-
Diffusion of Protons in Colloidal Systems by the Pulsed-
Gradient, Spin-Echo Method". The Journal of Chemical
Spin echo decay Physics. 49: 1768. Bibcode:1968JChPh..49.1768T.
A Hahn echo decay experiment can be used to measure doi:10.1063/1.1670306.
the spin–spin relaxation time, as shown in the • • Malcolm H. Levitt; Ray Freeman (1979). "NMR
animation below. The size of the echo is recorded for population inversion using a composite pulse". Journal of
Magnetic Resonance. 2: 473–476.
different spacings of the two pulses. This reveals the
Bibcode:1979JMagR..33..473L. doi:10.1016/0022-
decoherence which is not refocused by the π pulse. In 2364(79)90265-8.
simple cases, an exponential decay is measured which • • Dan J Bell and J Yeung. "Echo time". Radiopedia.
is described by the T2 time. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
• • Kurnit, N. A.; Abella, I. D.; Hartmann, S. R. (1964).
"Observation of a photon echo". Physical Review Letters.
13: 567–568. Bibcode:1964PhRvL..13..567K.
• • Hahn, E.L. (1950). "Spin echoes". Physical Review. 80:
580–594. Bibcode:1950PhRv...80..580H.
Stimulated echo • • A Awad; R F Spetzler; J A Hodak; C A Awad; et al.
Hahn's 1950 paper[5] showed that another method for (1986). "Incidental subcortical lesions identified on
generating spin echoes is to apply three successive 90° magnetic resonance imaging in the elderly. I. Correlation
with age and cerebrovascular risk factors." Am Heart
pulses. After the first 90° pulse, the magnetization
Assoc. 2.
vector spreads out as described above, forming what
• • Bruce Gelerter. "PEMF Relieves Pain".
can be thought of as a “pancake” in the x-y plane. The • • Mezei, F. (1972), "Neutron spin echo: A new concept
in polarized thermal neutron techniques", Zeitschrift für
spreading continues for a time , and then a second Physik, 255(2), pp. 146–160.
90° pulse is applied such that the “pancake” is now in • Carr, H. Y.; Purcell, E. M. (1954). "Effects of Diffusion
on Free Precession in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
the x-z plane. After a further time a third pulse is Experiments". Physical Review. 94: 630–638.
applied and a stimulated echo is observed after waiting Bibcode:1954PhRv...94..630C.
a time after the last pulse. Further reading
• Ray Freeman (1999). Spin Choreography: Basic
Photon echo
Steps in High Resolution NMR. Oxford University
Hahn echos have also been observed at optical Press. ISBN 978-0-19-850481-8.
frequencies.[4] For this, resonant light is applied to a • Malcolm H. Levitt (2001). Spin Dynamics: Basics
material with an inhomogeneously broadened of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Wiley. ISBN 978-
absorption resonance. Instead of using two spin states 0-471-48922-1.
in a magnetic field, photon echoes use two energy • Arthur Schweiger; Gunnar Jeschke (2001).
levels that are present in the material even in zero Principles of Pulse Electron Paramagnetic
magnetic field. Resonance. Oxford University Press.
See also ISBN 978-0-19-850634-8.
• Nuclear magnetic resonance External links - Animations and simulations
• Magnetic resonance imaging • Spin Echo Simulation
• Neutron spin echo • The animation show pulse sequences like spin echo
• Electron paramagnetic resonance sequence