Volume 84 Issue 21 | p. 39
Issue Date: May 22, 2006

Imaging Spin Noise

New technique is analogous to magnetic resonance imaging, but without the radio pulses
Department: Science & Technology

Noise—small thermal or quantum fluctuations of particles that generate electric or magnetic signals—is generally thought of as undesirable interference, obscuring the true signals scientists are trying to detect.

Noise isn't necessarily bad, however. The random spin fluctuations of electrons or protons, for example, can reveal much about collections of atoms or molecules. The signals from spin noise are so weak compared with those induced by outside forces, such as lasers and magnets, that until about . . .

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