Magnetic Resonance is seminal in our ability to probe, understand, and practically utilize ‘spin’ (‘intrinsic’ angular momentum). At first glance, this might not seem like a very important statement. Until you realize that ‘spin’ is the most fundamental building block in the understanding and practical advances within all areas of science and engineering that involve matter or light. This is because at the heart of matter and light is the concept of ‘spin’, and magnetic resonance is the most direct probe of this intrinsic property. While this seems far removed from ‘use-inspired research’ (one of ASU’s design aspirations), I can assure you it is not. Hence, why every modern hospital has Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and why every molecular-based science and engineering enterprise has or utilizes Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) capabilities. It is also hard to escape the fact that magnetic resonance is critical in most emerging use-inspired research that involve science and engineering at the nano or molecular scale. This coupled with the fact that the forefront of computers is at the molecular or nanoscale (e.g. spintronics, quantum computers, nano-fabrication, etc.) provides a good reason to assume that magnetic resonance research and infrastructure will continue to be seminal in our ability to probe, understand, and practically develop use-inspired research at the intersection of physics (foundational science), chemistry (molecular science), biology (specifically important in neurology and human health) and computation (information theory).
ASU established a Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) in 2005. ASU’s MRRC currently has 3 professors, 1 ½ PhD level research scientists and a large variety of magnetic resonance instrumentation (see https://clas.asu.edu/labs/mrrc for more details). We are currently in critical need of additional staffing and have a goal of reaching 5 professors and 3 PhD level research scientists within the next 1-2 years. This is the ‘critical’ (minimum) personnel level needed so that the MRRC is competitive for large scale external funding to develop and/or acquire additional magnetic resonance instrumentation and play a critical role in the near and long-term future of use-inspired scientific research and development that ASU is working hard to achieve at the New American University.
A few ways ASU’s MRRC advances research and discovery of public value: Applied Structural Discovery, Advanced Materials Research, Innovations in Medicine, Molecular Design and Biomimetics, Quantum Computing and Information.
Jeffery L. Yarger
Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Physics
Founding Director of the Magnetic Resonance Research Center at ASU