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Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 1

Module PH2270

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 2018

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
SS 2019WS 2018/9SS 2018

Basic Information

PH2270 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This module description is valid from SS 2018 to WS 2019/20.

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 30 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2270 in the version of SS 2018 was Marion Irene Menzel.

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


Learning Outcome

After successful participation in this module the student 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 I has 5 homework problem sets. Homework will be handed at the end of selected lectures. In the beginning of the next lecture, the students are able to hand in their solutions, which will not be graded. The solutions of the homework problems will be discussed in class during the first hours of the class when the homework is due.


Whiteboard, Powerpoint 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

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.

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.

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). The bonus is applicable to the exam period directly following the lecture period (not to the exam repetition) and subject to the condition that the student passes the mid-term of handing-in at least 3 of 5 homework set sheets.

Exam Repetition

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

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