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Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr. was an American physicist. In 1949, while working at Harvard, Ramsey applied a key insight to improve Columbia University physicist Isidor Rabi's method of studying atoms and molecules. In 1937, Rabi used alternating magnetic fields to characterize atomic matter. Ramsey exposed the atoms to the magnetic field only as they entered or exited his device. Ramsey called it the separated oscillatory fields method; today it is simply called the Ramsey Method. He was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention. Dr. Ramsey's work led, ultimately, to nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and to the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

The Ramsey Method also was key in developing the atomic clock. As of 1967, a second of time was no longer defined by a fraction of the earth's revolution around the sun, but rather as 9,192,631,770 radiation cycles of a cesium atom. In 1960, Ramsey invented an atomic clock based on the hydrogen maser, a design used today in Global Positioning System satellites....
 
 
Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr. was an American physicist. In 1949, while working at Harvard, Ramsey applied a key insight to improve Columbia University physicist Isidor Rabi's method of studying atoms and molecules. In 1937, Rabi used alternating magnetic fields to characterize atomic matter. Ramsey exposed the atoms to the magnetic field only as they entered or exited his device. Ramsey called it the separated oscillatory fields method; today it is simply called the Ramsey Method. He was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention. Dr. Ramsey's work led, ultimately, to nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and to the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

The Ramsey Method also was key in developing the atomic clock. As of 1967, a second of time was no longer defined by a fraction of the earth's revolution around the sun, but rather as 9,192,631,770 radiation cycles of a cesium atom. In 1960, Ramsey invented an atomic clock based on the hydrogen maser, a design used today in Global Positioning System satellites....

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