The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

This tag should be applied to all questions about nuclear magnetic resonance, including the underpinning theory and the measurement or interpretation of spectra.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a spectroscopic method used for the determination of the structures of molecules containing NMR-active nuclei, and may also be used as a method for studying mechanisms of chemical reactions.

Unlike methods such as IR spectroscopy or UV-vis spectroscopy, NMR is a quantitative technique that gives structural information such as the number of nuclei present, and the way in which they couple to one another, with a vast number of different NMR experiments available to probe various properties of the molecule of interest.

Though initially a technique for small molecule elucidation in organic chemistry, advances in technology have allowed the application of NMR to large biological molecules such as proteins, and gave rise to the related MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) which is widely used in medicine as a means of imaging the body.



Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a physical phenomenon in which nuclei in a magnetic field absorb and re-emit electromagnetic radiation. This energy is at a specific resonance frequency which depends on the strength of the magnetic field and the magnetic properties of the isotope of the atoms; in practical applications, the frequency is similar to VHF and UHF television broadcasts (60–1000 MHz). NMR allows the observation of specific quantum mechanical magnetic properties of the atomic nucleus. Many scientific techniques exploit NMR phenomena to study molecular physics, crystals, and non-crystalline materials through nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR is also routinely used in advanced medical imaging techniques, such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Applicability of the tag:

  • should be applied to all questions that deal with nuclear magnetic resonance, including…
    • Theory questions about the theoretical chemistry behind the method, or about the way in which pulse sequences work
    • Practical questions about the measurement of NMR spectra, choice of techniques, instrumentation
    • Questions about the application of NMR, for instance in structure elucidation
  • The majority of questions will need additional tags to fully describe them, for instance if the question is asking about the NMR spectrum of a particular organic molecule or if the question is asking about the physical basis for why the technique works.
    • The tag should also be applied to allow for easier searching, in the same way that a question might have tags for and .
    • The tag may also be appropriate, but is perhaps best reserved for questions specifically regarding general analytical methods rather than for specific techniques.

Related tags:

The following tags are related to , with multiple questions on already tagged with one of more of the following:

Further reading:

Many books/reviews on NMR have been published from theoretical and practical perspectives. A selection of the more approachable books aimed at chemists are:

  • Keeler, J; Understanding NMR Spectroscopy;S Wiley-Blackwell: Sussex, 2010.
  • Claridge, T. D. W. ; High Resolution NMR Techniques in Organic Chemistry; Elsevier: Oxford, 2009
  • Levitt, M. H.; Spin Dynamics: Basics of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; Wiley: Sussex, 2008
  • Macomber, R. S.; A Complete Introduction to Modern NMR Spectroscopy; Wiley-Interscience: New York, 1998
history | excerpt history