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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Frank Holger Foersterling, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Description: This comprehensive introduction to the theory of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy starts with basic principles and covers a wide range of phenomena and experimental techniques including some recently developed experiments. The first edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: The author provides the basic theoretical and conceptual equipment needed by the experimental NMR spectroscopist to understand the multitude of existing NMR experiments. It does so in a very rigorous manner, bearing in mind that inconsistencies in notation and terminology are one of the biggest obstacles for students.
Audience: The audience includes upper lever undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers in chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, and physics who want to understand and plan to use advanced NMR techniques. Because the author starts at a very basic level, only basic knowledge in mathematics and physics is a prerequisite for understanding. However, many of the concepts introduced in the book require willingness on the part of readers to engage in mathematics and quantum mechanics at a level beyond what many basic NMR users may feel comfortable with.
Features: This is intensive reading. The book builds on basic principles and is divided into seven parts. At the end of each of the 20 chapters are references for further reading, exercises, and footnotes which add interesting details without disrupting the flow. Figures are used extensively to supplement the text and equations. Part one, which introduces some basic principles of spin and the appearance of NMR spectra uses mainly a pictorial approach with a minimum of equations. Many details are covered in later chapters, but much of the groundwork for further understanding is laid here. Part two focuses on the NMR spectrometer, going over its different parts and following the production of an NMR signal from the transmitter to the receiver, to the final Fourier transformed spectrum, including a quick overview of 2D spectra. Part three reviews basic concepts of operator algebra and quantum mechanics of angular momentum. For readers with little training in quantum mechanics, this part is essential for further understanding of the book. This section also can be recommended for readers with some experience in operator algebra and quantum mechanics, as advanced concepts like angular momentum of spin > ½ are covered. Part four introduces the interaction of the spins with each other and external fields. Using a unique approach, the book discusses the different interactions side by side, using flow charts to categorize and compare the different interactions. The discussion remains very general, with the details of the discussion of isolated and coupled spins left for later in the book. In some ways this section feels a little awkward, as many different concepts are introduced in a very condensed manner. Part five discusses a thorough quantum mechanical treatment of isolated spins (no spin-spin interaction). Great emphasis is put on the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanical states, and the importance of superposition of eigenstates. The author then moves from isolated spins to ensembles of spins, and finally discusses basic one pulse spectra and basic experiments on single-spin systems like inversion recovery, spin echoes, and gradient echoes. The section is rounded out with a spin density treatment of quadrupolar nuclei. Spin-spin coupling is introduced in part six. Starting from energy levels of two equivalent coupled spins, a thorough treatment of weakly coupled AX spin systems is provided, and the treatment of pulses and coupling on the density matrix is developed. The results are applied to several basic experiments (COSY, INADEQUATE, INEPT and residual dipolar couplings), which are covered in great detail. Finally, multispin systems are introduced. Magnetic equivalence and spin system notations are covered, and experiments on multispin systems are discussed in detail. The last part covers the effect of motion on NMR spectra. Both motional averaging and the effect of motion on relaxation are covered. After a detailed discussion of spectral density and dipolar relaxation, experimental applications in NOESY and ROESY experiments are discussed. The section ends with an excellent description of cross-correlated relaxation.
Assessment: This is a detailed presentation of the theory of NMR. While very broad in its scope, the author takes great care to describe in detail some of the subtleties often glossed over in textbooks, like the sign of Larmor precession. Also notable is the inclusion of several very recent techniques like cross-correlated relaxation and residual dipolar couplings. What makes this book stand out compared to similar books like Maurice Goldman's Quantum Description of High-Resolution NMR in Liquids (Oxford University Press, 1991), and Charles Slichter's Principles of Magnetic Resonance, 3rd edition (Springer, 1990), is the extensive use of pictures and diagrams, which will make this book more appealing to non-physicists, like chemists and biologists. That this was achieved without loss of rigor is indeed an accomplishment.