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Analytical Chemistry

A Guide to Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)


© Compound Interest

A Guide to Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Today’s graphic is one for the chemists, with a guide to chemical shifts in proton nuclear magnetic resonance. At first glance, for those without a background in chemistry, this may well look largely nonsensical – however, if you’re interested in learning a little more about how chemists can work out the structures of organic compounds, read on below for an explanation that tries its best to be a simple one!

Looking at the graphics on the site, you may have wondered how chemists know that these are the structures of the particular organic (carbon-based) molecules being discussed. After all, molecules are incredibly small entities, so how can we possibly be so confident in knowing the precise arrangement of atoms within them? There are actually a number of techniques we can use to determine these arrangements – one of them is infrared spectroscopy, discussed previously – but by far the most important is nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR spectroscopy.

  • magnetic fields
  • spin
  • Larmor precession
  • gyromagnetic ratio
  • nuclear spin
  • longitudinal relaxation
  • relaxation
  • molecular structure
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