Lectures by James Keeler

You are welcome to download any of these for your personal use. If you want to make multiple copies or use the material in some other way, please contact James Keeler (jhk10@cam.ac.uk).

The Basic Building Blocks of NMR Pulse Sequences (ENC, Boston 2014)

PDF of the lecture slides

Coherence order and coherence selection (EUROMAR, Frankfurt 2011)

PDF of the lecture slides (corrected version, 28 August 2011)

You may also find other materials on this page relevant.

Understanding NMR spectroscopy

This course is aimed at those who are already familiar with using NMR on a day-to-day basis, but who wish to deepen their understanding of how NMR experiments work and the theory behind them. It is assumed that you are familiar with the concepts of chemical shifts and couplings, and are used to interpreting proton and carbon-13 spectra. It is also assumed that you have at least come across simple two-dimensional spectra such as COSY and HMQC and perhaps may have used such spectra in the course of your work. Similarly, some familiarity with the nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) will be assumed. That NMR is a useful for chemists will be taken as self evident.

This course will always use the same approach. We will first start with something familiar - such as multiplets we commonly see in proton NMR spectra - and then go deeper into the explanation behind this, introducing along the way new ideas and new concepts. In this way the new things that we are learning are always rooted in the familiar, and we should always be able to see why we are doing something.

In NMR there is no escape from the plain fact that to understand all but the simplest experiments we need to use quantum mechanics. Luckily for us, the quantum mechanics we need for NMR is really rather simple, and if we are prepared to take it on trust, we will find that we can make quantum mechanical calculations simply by applying a set of rules. Also, the quantum mechanical tools we will use are quite intuitive and many of the calculations can be imagined in a very physical way. So, although we will be using quantum mechanical ideas, we will not be using any heavy-duty theory. It is not necessary to have studied quantum mechanics at anything more than the most elementary level.

Inevitably, we will have to use some mathematics in our description of NMR. However, the level of mathematics we need is quite low and should not present any problems for a science graduate. Occasionally we will use a few ideas from calculus, but even then it is not essential to understand this in great detail.

This course has developed over the years from material written for various summer schools. In 2002 it was given as a graduate course at the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine (this version of the course is still available, click here).

The version below was revised in February 2004 and will be given as a graduate course at the Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Barcelona in March 2004

The pages are formatted for printing on A4 paper.

Introduction to NMR

The following are a series of chapters introducing the basics of NMR. They were mostly prepared for summer schools given in Japan in 1998 and 2000. Some of them are available in A4 and letter formats.

Some of these chapters are earlier versions of the material to be found in Understanding NMR Spectrsopcopy. The chapter on quantum mechanics and the ones on relaxation are new material.

  • Introduction (A4)
  • Quantum Mechanics (A4, letter)
  • Product Operators (A4, letter)
  • Two-dimensional NMR (A4, letter)
  • Relaxation (A4)
  • Advanced topics in relaxation (A4)
  • Coherence Selection (A4, letter)
       N.B. This is NOT the lecture for the EMBO course - see below for that

  • EMBO Course: Il Ciocco 2000 and 2002

    The lecture notes, the problems and the solutions can be downloaded in PDF format

  • Lecture notes on coherence pathway selection (click to download)
  • Coherence Selection Problems (click to download)
  • Coherence Selection Solutions (click to download)



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