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Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 1

Module ME703

This Module is offered by Chair of Nuclear Medicine (Prof. Weber).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2020

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2022/3SS 2020

Basic Information

ME703 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This module description is valid from SS 2020 to SS 2022.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h  h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This course is the first part of two lectures series, dealing with the physical principles of magnetic resonance imaging.
The content of the first part focusses on the principles of magnetic resonance(MR) image formation. The lecture starts with addressing the question how an MR signal is generated, continues with the detection and manipulation of this signal and will finally cover the details how MR signals are processed into an image.
Specifically, we will focus on:
1. Introduction to MRI
2. MR signal generation
a. Magnetic moments
b. RF excitation
c. Signal detection
3. MR signal characteristics
a. Free induction decay
b. Spin echo
c. Gradient echo
4. Spatial encoding of MR signals
a. Slice selection
b. Frequency and phase encoding
c. k-space
5. Relaxation and image contrast
a. Saturation-recovery sequence
b. Inversion-recovery sequence
c. Spin-echo sequence
6. Image reconstruction
a. Basics of image reconstruction
b. Reconstruction from Fourier samples
7. Image resolution and noise
a. Resolution limitations
b. Image Noise
8. Image artifacts
a. Gibbs ringing
b. Aliasing
c. Chemical shift artifact
d. Motion artifacts

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in this module the studen is able to:
1. describe the physical principles underlying the process of MR signal generation and detection
2. understand how an MR image is generated
3. explain how signal contrast in an MR image is produced
4. analyze MR pulse sequences and understand how they work


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Learning and Teaching Methods

Oral presentation, Quiz, Exercises, Discussions
Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 1 has 10 homework problem sets. Homework will be handed at the end of some lectures following the timeline below. The homework problem solutions from each student will not be graded. However, the solutions of the homework problems will be discussed in class during the exercise sessions and the homework problem solutions will be then posted at moodle.


Whiteboard, Power point presentation


Text book: Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Signal Processing Perspective by Zhi-Pei Liang and Paul C. Lauterbur.
Further reading:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Physical Principles and Sequence Design 2. Ed. by: Robert W. Brown, Y.-C. Norman Cheng, E. Mark Haacke, Michael R. Thompson, Ramesh Venkatesan; available online from within TUM via:

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Exam type and duration:
There will be a written exam of 60 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using calculation problems and comprehension questions.
In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as an oral exam. In this case the time duration is 25 minutes.
For example an assignment in the exam might be:
How is a 2D or 3D image encoded?
How can T1 contrast be introduced in a gradient echo sequence?
Calculate, how many protons effectively contribute to the generated effective magnetic moment in a magnetic field of 7 T.
In the exam no learning aids are permitted.
Before each exercise session, a list is handed out and each student marks down which problems of the current homework problem set was completed by her/him. Afterwards each problem will be presented to the class by a student chosen on a voluntary basis or by the instructors based on who put a mark down for a specific problem. If someone cannot be present in the class, he/she can send the homework problem solution per email to the instructors before the due date (this can be accepted for up to one problem sets). Each student needs a) to complete an equivalent of 7 full homework problem sets and b) to present 3 problems/sub-questions during the exercise session to receive a bonus. There will be a bonus (one intermediate stepping of "0,3" to the better grade) on passed module exams (4,3 is not upgraded to 4,0) for every student fulfilling the above two criteria. The bonus is applicable to the exam period directly following the lecture period (not to the exam repetition).

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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