Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Researcher Alexander Pines To Receive Dickson Prize in Science From Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon University will award its $50,000 Dickson Prize in Science to Alexander Pines, a professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, for his contributions to the field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

The late Pittsburgh physician Joseph Z. Dickson and his wife, Agnes Fisher Dickson, established the Dickson Prize in Science in 1969. Carnegie Mellon awards it annually to individuals in the United States who make outstanding contributions to science. The Dickson Prize also includes a medal.

As part of this award, Pines will deliver the Dickson Prize in Science lecture, "Some Magnetic Moments," at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 in the Mellon Institute Auditorium, second floor, Mellon Institute, 4400 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Pines’ lecture will detail advances in the field of NMR and provide examples of novel methods of doing magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. The lecture is free and open to the public.

About Dr. Pines

At Berkeley, Pines is the Glenn T. Seaborg professor of chemistry and chancellor’s research professor. He also is a faculty senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Pines’ techniques are widely used in chemistry and materials science. His awards include the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award and the Bourke Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Pines is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and past president of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance.

Pines studied mathematics and chemistry in Israel and obtained his Ph.D. in chemical physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1972.


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) continues to flourish more than half a century after its birth. The lecture will describe moments of excitation, coherence and relaxation, which produced multidimensional spectroscopy, high-resolution solid-state methods, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Today, NMR and MRI cut across the boundaries of physics, chemistry, materials science and biomedicine, making it possible to study, with exquisite fidelity, the structure, dynamics and function of molecules, material and organisms. Examples of novel methods of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging include cross-polarization, multiple-pulse and multiple-quantum excitation, sample reorientation and correlation, "lighting up" spectra and images with lasers, and the possibility of zero-field NMR and MRI without magnets.