Smash, flash, steam, blast, burst-MRI serves up endless innovation

September 1, 2006

There is one central fact to which I owe my career, as do many of us in this room: that is the wondrous and mysterious fact that magnetic resonance never seems to be done.

"There is one central fact to which I owe my career, as do many of us in this room: that is the wondrous and mysterious fact that magnetic resonance never seems to be done. No matter how much we think we know, no matter how much we are convinced we are converging toward consensus, there is always something new lurking in the shadows.

"As we all know, MR operates on one of nature's simplest quantum mechanical systems: a two-state system in its most basic guise. But somehow, this rudimentary system not only manages to suffer all the indignities we think to impose on it-SMASH, FLASH, STEAM, BLAST, BURST-but also offers up time and again new information to enlighten us and aid our patients.

"In the words of one of my favorite obscure wordsmiths, Samuel Bowditch, 'There is in this earth no maneuver more unnerving than the spin. Just when one thinks to have advanced into the twilight, dawn comes around again.'"

-Dr. Daniel K. Sodickson, an assistant professor of radiology, accepting the Gold Medal award of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine at the society's 2006 meeting in Seattle.