MR Physics for Physicists
Klaus Scheffler, Peter Boernert, Michael H. Buonocore, Organizers

Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7


This two-day course focuses on the latest physical theories and experiments, and will provide a sound basis for understanding the technical presentations at the Scientific Meeting. A broad range of scientific topics will be covered in the course, including the origin and basic properties of the MRI signal, molecular imaging physics, theories of magnetization relaxation, the physics of fast imaging, advanced methods for image reconstruction, special pulse sequences and processing methods for motion quantification, and the physics of high field imaging. The section on the physics of fast imaging will include talks on pulse sequence design, RF excitation, spatial encoding, dynamic equilibrium, and the theory and practical considerations in determining image signal-to-noise ratio. The section on image reconstruction will include talks on the methods of gridding, reconstruction for multi-coil acquisition, and methods for spatial and temporal interpolation. The section on the physics of high field imaging will include talks on optimized pulse sequences for high field imaging, multi-coil excitation, and the physics of MRI safety at high field.

Educational Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:
• Starting from first principles in quantum mechanics, describe and derive the two-component Schrödinger equation, the equations for thermal equilibrium, the Bloch equation for magnetization dynamics, the magnetization relaxation terms T1 and T2, and explain the conclusion that the current induced in the MRI coil is a measure of the expectation value of the magnetic moment of the nuclear spins;
• Describe the physics of alternate mechanisms for spin polarization, as used in hyperpolarized molecular imaging; also describe pulse sequence strategies for imaging hyperpolarized elements, and the contrast mechanisms in molecular imaging;
• Explain the basic quantum mechanical and semi-classical theory of relaxation, and the processes of relaxation of water protons that occur in tissues and result in image contrast;
• Summarize the physical processes, pulse sequences and other technical innovations used in fast imaging, such as those required for selective excitation, spatial encoding, magnetization dynamic manipulation for desired image contrast, as well as theory and methods for calculating actual and theoretical limits of image signal to noise ratio;
• Describe advanced image reconstruction methods based on gridding for non-Cartesian k-space trajectories, including methods using coil sensitivity functions for parallel imaging, and methods using generalized temporal and spatial correlations;
• Describe special MRI pulse sequences and processing methods used for spatial mapping and quantification of tissue motion;
• Explain physical phenomena and specific innovations that are important for clinical imaging at high field strengths (>= 3T), including those related to MRI safety at high field, optimized pulse sequences, and other technical challenges.

Audience Description:
This course is designed for new Ph.D.’s joining the MRI scientific community, and those already established, who wish to learn the physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computer science of MRI at a rigorous and advanced quantitative level, and who are interested in obtaining rigorous quantitative descriptions of MRI topics. The descriptions given will reflect the backgrounds and perspectives of mathematical physicists, physical chemists, and engineers. This course is designed for Ph.D. candidates in physics, chemistry, engineering, applied mathematics and computer science, as well as Ph.D. postgraduates in these fields. It is also suited to established MR physicists, chemists, engineers, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicians who have several years of direct experience performing human MRI and/or biochemical/biological experiments, and/or MRI technology research and development.

  I Origins and Basic Properties of the MRI Signal      
Origins of the Equations of Magnetization Dynamics 
Michael H. Buonocore, M.D., Ph.D.
09:10 Numerical Implementation of the Bloch Equation to Simulate  Hugues Benoit-Cattin, Ph.D.
  Magnetization Dynamics and Imaging      
  II Molecular Imaging Physiscs      
09:50 Alternate Mechanisms for Spin Polarization Bastiaan Driehuys, Ph.D.
10:30 Break - Meet the Teachers      
10:50 Imaging Strategies for Hyperpolarized Elements and Molecules  John P. Mugler, III, Ph.D.
11:30 Contrast Mechanisms in Molecular Imaging  Robert N. Muller, Ph.D.
12:10 Break      
  12:10 - 12:30 Meet the Teachers      
  III Signal Relaxation      
13:30 Quantum Mechanical and Semi-Classical Theory of Relaxation Valerij G. Kiselev, Ph.D.
14:10 Relaxation and Contrast Mechanisms in Living Tissue  Greg J. Stanisz
  IV Physics of Fast Imaging      
14:50 Fast SE/TSE/RARE, Refocusing with Low Flip Angle Pulses Klaus Scheffler, Ph.D.
15:30 Break - Meet the Teachers      
15:50 Fast Gradient Echo Including SSFP Brian A. Hargreaves, Ph.D.
16:30 Pulse Sequence Design for EPI and Non-Cartesian Sampling Craig H. Meyer, Ph.D.
17:10 Limits of SNR and Practical Consequences  Klaas Pruessmann, Ph.D.
  17:50 - 18:00 - Meet the Teachers      
SUNDAY, 7 MAY      
  V Pulse Sequences and Processing Methods for Motion Quantification    
08:10 MR Elastography Ralph Sinkus, Ph.D.
08:45 Velocity Encoding and Flow Imaging Michael Markl, Ph.D.
  VI Image Reconstruction      
09:20 Gridding for Non-Cartesian K-Space Sampling James G. Pipe, Ph.D.
09:55 Reconstruction for Multi-Coil Acquisition David J. Larkman, Ph.D.
10:30 Break - Meet the Teachers      
10:50 Generalized Spatial and Temporal Interpolation, Limited Bruno Madore, Ph.D.
  Data Reconstruction      
  VII Physics of High Field Imaging      
11:25 Overview of the Technical Challenges Paul R. Harvey, Ph.D.
12:00 Optimized Pulse Sequences at High Field  Oliver Speck, Ph.D.
12:35 Break       
  12:35 - 12:45 - Meet the Teachers      
13:50 Principles of Parallel Transmission Peter Börnert, Ph.D.
14:25 Physical Principles for the Assessment of MRI Safety at High Field  Hans Engels, Ph.D.
  15:00 - 15:15 - Meet the Teachers