Manifestations of classical physics in the quantum evolution of correlated spin states in pulsed NMR experiments

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Oct 10, 2017
  • Author: Martin Ligare
  • Journal: Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A


Multiple‐pulse NMR experiments are a powerful tool for the investigation of molecules with coupled nuclear spins. The product operator formalism provides a way to understand the quantum evolution of an ensemble of weakly coupled spins in such experiments using some of the more intuitive concepts of classical physics and semi‐classical vector representations. In this paper I present a new way in which to interpret the quantum evolution of an ensemble of spins. I recast the quantum problem in terms of mixtures of pure states of two spins whose expectation values evolve identically to those of classical moments. Pictorial representations of these classically evolving states provide a way to calculate the time evolution of ensembles of weakly coupled spins without the full machinery of quantum mechanics, offering insight to anyone who understands precession of magnetic moments in magnetic fields.

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