Magnetic Resonance Imaging | An Introduction | Site Info: Foreword.

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Site Info: Foreword.

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Peter A. Rinck

"Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as
six impossible things before breakfast."
The White Queen in Lewis Caroll’s
'Alice Through the Looking Glass'.

 e like books – printed on paper, if possible with a beautiful hardcover binding. Thus, putting one of the standard textbooks on the internet was a challenge for us. We hope that the looks of the real textbook have not been lost completely – and, at the same time, that the advantages of e-learning bear fruit.

The first version of this primer – a little booklet – was written at Paul C. Lau­ter­bur's laboratories in the early 1980s. Lauterbur was the father of MR imaging and received the Nobel Prize twenty years later. The text was intended to be used as the Basic Textbook for EMRF, the European Magnetic Resonance Fo­rum.

After Lauterbur saw the first edition, he commented: "It looks like a fine book, especially for residents, nurses, and technicians." Initially we thought this state­ment was not very encouraging, but in hindsight this was exactly what we had intended to write. We worked on it for another twenty years – and finally Lau­ter­bur found the last edition he read before his death "gratifying".

Celebrating the 30th anniversary in 2014 was a pleasant occasion. The child had grown up, become an adult or, in our case – a rather successful standard textbook. The reviews and public reaction to the book were extremely positive. Thus, we finally decided to create a special edition adapted to the internet.

spaceholder red600   In magnetic resonance imaging beginners and even the more knowledgeable often have to believe what they read or hear about the topic — and often things seem to be impossible. Sometimes it seems like a fairy tale. This site tries to tell the tale and lead its readers from believing to understanding. They should be able to acquire a basic knowledge which enables them to pursue studies of their own and to cope with some of the most common problems, such as image con­trast and artifacts or questions concerning possible hazards to patients. The main author and the contributors have not attempted to cover the field com­ple­tely nor to be exhaustive in the topics discussed, as the field of magnetic re­so­nance still is in a permanent stage of development and therefore changing year by year. However, we are not interested in certain gadgets or "apps" of com­mer­cial machines, and won't mention or describe them.

As with everything in life, MR imaging does not only require knowledge of facts but also background information for decision making. Therefore we have linked some subjective, critical, and opinion-oriented sections, intended to offset the technical nature of the teaching sections and provide some insights into more practical questions faced by MR users.

spaceholder red600   If you want to learn something about magnetic resonance imaging or its ap­pli­ca­tions choose your topic of interest. If you want to learn it from scratch start with Chapter 1; and if you want to air your brain, read the comments that are scattered in between and flagged with a writer's quill:

This one, for instance, tells the story of how it all began.
Once upon a time, not so long ago ...

If you find any mistakes in this book, rest assured that they were left in­ten­tio­nally so as not to provoke the gods with something which is perfect. Still, we would be happy about your feedback. We hope that this textbook will be useful for you and that you will enjoy it. If you have comments or suggestions, please write to us.

Peter A. Rinck, Editor-in-Chief
on behalf of all contributors and collaborators

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