The Invention of Magnetic Resonance Scanner (MRI)

2508 Words Jan 26th, 2018 10 Pages
This groundbreaking invention, completed by Dr. Raymond Damadian, turned out to be one of the most important discoveries in the history of medicine. Dr. Damadian’s scanner applied the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance to the human body for the first time, in order to detect cancerous cells in the body without the use of X-rays or surgery. Dr. Damadian’s first full-body scanner, named “Indomitable”, gave rise to the practice of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in all fields of medicine. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, which is often simply referred to as magnetic resonance imaging due to the negative connotations that are associated with “nuclear” (Kleinfield 224), uses a technique in which atoms absorb magnetic waves and then subsequently emit specific frequencies of waves that can be used to create images (Edelson). Dr. Damadian formulated the controversial idea of applying NMR to the human body at a much larger scale than ever before based on prior research that indicated that cancerous cells emit noticeably different levels of radiation than normal cells do. In the 1940s the physicists Edward M. Purcell and Felix Bloch discovered NMR and earned the Nobel Prize in 1952 for their discoveries. The original application of NMR was done a very small scale by organic chemists in order to decipher the composition of single compounds in pure solutions…