Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre



A Brief History of Magnetic Resonance at Nottingham

The University of Nottingham has long been at the centre of developments in Magnetic Resonance techniques. Much of the early, pioneering work on MRI was done here, by Peter (now Sir Peter) Mansfield in the mid-1970s. Before that, NMR was only able to provide information about a sample as a whole, rather than details about the internal structure of a sample, or for that matter, a person. One of the earliest important contributions that Sir Peter made to MRI was to invent the method whereby we can image a slice through a person.The early MRI pictures were generally coarse and slow to produce, whereas nowadays MRI images can be exquisite in their detail. This change has been brought about by a combination of massive improvement in scanner hardware and the development of more clever techniques. Nottingham has played and important role in improving the hardware.

However Nottingham is probably best known for the invention of EPI, which Peter Mansfield first proposed in the late 1970s, although it has only been used in medical imaging since the early 1990s. It is now used widely to look at brain function.

Sir Peter Mansfield shared the Nobel Prize for his part in the development of MRI in 2003. 

Peter Mansfield's Key Contributions to the Development of MRI

  • 1973: Independent invention of MRI
    NMR diffraction in solids?
    Mansfield and Grannell
    J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys., 6, L422, 1973.
  • 1974: Slice selection
    Garroway and Grannell
    J. Phys. C, 7, L457, 1974.
  • 1977: Echo-planar imaging
    Multiplanar image formation using NMR
    J. Phys. C., 10, L55-58, 1977.
  • 1986: Shielded gradients
    Active Magnetic screening of gradient coils in NMR imaging
    Mansfield and Chapman
    J. Magn. Reson., 66, 573, 1986.



Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 9514747
fax: +44 (0) 115 9515166