Gyromagnetic ratio


In physics, the gyromagnetic ratio (also sometimes known as the magnetogyric ratio[1] in other disciplines) of a particle or system is the ratio of its magnetic moment to its angular momentum, and it is often denoted by the symbol γ, gamma. Its SI unit is the radian per second per tesla (rad⋅s−1⋅T−1) or, equivalently, the coulomb per kilogram (C⋅kg−1).

The term "gyromagnetic ratio" is often used[2] as a synonym for a different but closely related quantity, the g-factor. The g-factor only differs from the gyromagnetic ratio in being dimensionless.

For a classical rotating body


Consider a nonconductive charged body rotating about an axis of symmetry. According to the laws of classical physics, it has both a magnetic dipole moment due to the movement of charge and an angular momentum due to the movement of mass arising from its rotation. It can be shown that as long as its charge and mass density and flow [clarification needed] are distributed identically and rotationally symmetric, its gyromagnetic ratio is


where   is its charge and   is its mass.

The derivation of this relation is as follows. It suffices to demonstrate this for an infinitesimally narrow circular ring within the body, as the general result then follows from an integration. Suppose the ring has radius r, area A = πr2, mass m, charge q, and angular momentum L = mvr. Then the magnitude of the magnetic dipole moment is


For an isolated electron


An isolated electron has an angular momentum and a magnetic moment resulting from its spin. While an electron's spin is sometimes visualized as a literal rotation about an axis, it cannot be attributed to mass distributed identically to the charge. The above classical relation does not hold, giving the wrong result by the absolute value of the electron's g-factor, which is denoted ge:   where μB is the Bohr magneton.

The gyromagnetic ratio due to electron spin is twice that due to the orbiting of an electron.

In the framework of relativistic quantum mechanics,   where   is the fine-structure constant. Here the small corrections to the relativistic result g = 2 come from the quantum field theory calculations of the anomalous magnetic dipole moment. The electron g-factor is known to twelve decimal places by measuring the electron magnetic moment in a one-electron cyclotron:[3]  

The electron gyromagnetic ratio is[4][5][6]    

The electron g-factor and γ are in excellent agreement with theory; see Precision tests of QED for details.[7]

Gyromagnetic factor not as a consequence of relativity


Since a gyromagnetic factor equal to 2 follows from Dirac's equation, it is a frequent misconception to think that a g-factor 2 is a consequence of relativity; it is not. The factor 2 can be obtained from the linearization of both the Schrödinger equation and the relativistic Klein–Gordon equation (which leads to Dirac's). In both cases a 4-spinor is obtained and for both linearizations the g-factor is found to be equal to 2; Therefore, the factor 2 is a consequence of the minimal coupling and of the fact of having the same order of derivatives for space and time.[8]

Physical spin 1/2 particles which cannot be described by the linear gauged Dirac equation satisfy the gauged Klein–Gordon equation extended by the g e/4 σμν Fμν term according to,[9]


Here, 1/2σμν and Fμν stand for the Lorentz group generators in the Dirac space, and the electromagnetic tensor respectively, while Aμ is the electromagnetic four-potential. An example for such a particle,[9] is the spin 1/2 companion to spin 3/2 in the D(½,1)D(1,½) representation space of the Lorentz group. This particle has been shown to be characterized by g = ⁠−+2/3 and consequently to behave as a truly quadratic fermion.

For a nucleus

The sign of the gyromagnetic ratio, γ, determines the sense of precession. While the magnetic moments (the black arrows) are oriented the same for both cases of γ, the precession is in opposite directions. Spin and magnetic moment are in the same direction for γ > 0 (as for protons).

Protons, neutrons, and many nuclei carry nuclear spin, which gives rise to a gyromagnetic ratio as above. The ratio is conventionally written in terms of the proton mass and charge, even for neutrons and for other nuclei, for the sake of simplicity and consistency. The formula is:


where   is the nuclear magneton, and   is the g-factor of the nucleon or nucleus in question. The ratio   equal to  , is 7.622593285(47) MHz/T.[10]

The gyromagnetic ratio of a nucleus plays a role in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These procedures rely on the fact that bulk magnetization due to nuclear spins precess in a magnetic field at a rate called the Larmor frequency, which is simply the product of the gyromagnetic ratio with the magnetic field strength. With this phenomenon, the sign of γ determines the sense (clockwise vs counterclockwise) of precession.

Most common nuclei such as 1H and 13C have positive gyromagnetic ratios.[11][12] Approximate values for some common nuclei are given in the table below.[13][14]

Nucleus   (106 rad⋅s−1⋅T−1)   (MHz⋅T−1)
1H 267.52218708(11)[15] 42.577478461(18)[16]
1H (in H2O) 267.5153194(11)[17] 42.57638543(17)[18]
2H 41.065 6.536
3H 285.3508 45.415[19]
3He −203.78946078(18)[20] −32.434100033(28)[21]
7Li 103.962 16.546
13C 67.2828 10.7084
14N 19.331 3.077
15N −27.116 −4.316
17O −36.264 −5.772
19F 251.815 40.078
23Na 70.761 11.262
27Al 69.763 11.103
29Si −53.190 −8.465
31P 108.291 17.235
57Fe 8.681 1.382
63Cu 71.118 11.319
67Zn 16.767 2.669
129Xe −73.995401(2) −11.7767338(3)[22]

Larmor precession


Any free system with a constant gyromagnetic ratio, such as a rigid system of charges, a nucleus, or an electron, when placed in an external magnetic field B (measured in teslas) that is not aligned with its magnetic moment, will precess at a frequency f (measured in hertz), that is proportional to the external field:


For this reason, values of γ/ 2π , in units of hertz per tesla (Hz/T), are often quoted instead of γ.

Heuristic derivation


The derivation of this relation is as follows: First we must prove that the torque resulting from subjecting a magnetic moment   to a magnetic field   is   The identity of the functional form of the stationary electric and magnetic fields has led to defining the magnitude of the magnetic dipole moment equally well as  , or in the following way, imitating the moment p of an electric dipole: The magnetic dipole can be represented by a needle of a compass with fictitious magnetic charges   on the two poles and vector distance between the poles   under the influence of the magnetic field of earth   By classical mechanics the torque on this needle is   But as previously stated   so the desired formula comes up.   is the unit distance vector.

The model of the spinning electron we use in the derivation has an evident analogy with a gyroscope. For any rotating body the rate of change of the angular momentum   equals the applied torque  :


Note as an example the precession of a gyroscope. The earth's gravitational attraction applies a force or torque to the gyroscope in the vertical direction, and the angular momentum vector along the axis of the gyroscope rotates slowly about a vertical line through the pivot. In the place of the gyroscope imagine a sphere spinning around the axis and with its center on the pivot of the gyroscope, and along the axis of the gyroscope two oppositely directed vectors both originated in the center of the sphere, upwards   and downwards   Replace the gravity with a magnetic flux density  

  represents the linear velocity of the pike of the arrow   along a circle whose radius is   where   is the angle between   and the vertical. Hence the angular velocity of the rotation of the spin is



This relationship also explains an apparent contradiction between the two equivalent terms, gyromagnetic ratio versus magnetogyric ratio: whereas it is a ratio of a magnetic property (i.e. dipole moment) to a gyric (rotational, from Greek: γύρος, "turn") property (i.e. angular momentum), it is also, at the same time, a ratio between the angular precession frequency (another gyric property) ω = 2πf and the magnetic field.

The angular precession frequency has an important physical meaning: It is the angular cyclotron frequency, the resonance frequency of an ionized plasma being under the influence of a static finite magnetic field, when we superimpose a high frequency electromagnetic field.

See also



  1. ^ International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (1993). Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry, 2nd edition, Oxford: Blackwell Science. ISBN 0-632-03583-8. p. 21. Electronic version.
  2. ^ For example, see: Giancoli, D.C. Physics for Scientists and Engineers (3rd ed.). p. 1017; or see: Tipler, P.A.; Llewellyn, R.A. Modern Physics (4th ed.). p. 309.
  3. ^ Fan, X.; Myers, T. G.; Sukra, B. A. D.; Gabrielse, G. (13 February 2023). "Measurement of the Electron Magnetic Moment". Physical Review Letters. 130 (7): 071801. arXiv:2209.13084. Bibcode:2023PhRvL.130g1801F. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.071801. PMID 36867820. S2CID 123962197.
  4. ^ "electron gyromagnetic ratio". NIST. Note that NIST puts a positive sign on the quantity; however, to be consistent with the formulas in this article, a negative sign is put on γ here. Indeed, many references say that γ < 0 for an electron; for example, Weil & Bolton (2007). Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. Wiley. p. 578.[full citation needed] Also note that the units of radians are added for clarity.
  5. ^ "electron gyromagnetic ratio". NIST.
  6. ^ "electron gyromagnetic ratio in MHz/T". NIST.
  7. ^ Knecht, Marc (12 October 2002). "The anomalous magnetic moments of the electron and the muon". In Duplantier, Bertrand; Rivasseau, Vincent (eds.). Poincaré Seminar 2002. Poincaré Seminar. Progress in Mathematical Physics. Vol. 30. Paris, FR: Birkhäuser (published 2003). ISBN 3-7643-0579-7. Archived from the original (PostScript) on 15 October 2005.
  8. ^ Greiner, Walter (4 October 2000). Quantum Mechanics: An introduction. Springer Verlag. ISBN 9783540674580 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ a b Delgado Acosta, E.G.; Banda Guzmán, V.M.; Kirchbach, M. (2015). "Gyromagnetic gs factors of the spin 1/2 particles in the (1/2+-1/2-1/2) triad of the four-vector spinor, ψμ, irreducibility and linearity". International Journal of Modern Physics E. 24 (7): 1550060. arXiv:1507.03640. Bibcode:2015IJMPE..2450060D. doi:10.1142/S0218301315500603. S2CID 119303031.
  10. ^ "Nuclear magneton in MHz/T:  ". NIST. 2014. (citing CODATA-recommended values)
  11. ^ Levitt, M.H. (2008). Spin Dynamics. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN 978-0470511176.
  12. ^ Palmer, Arthur G. (2007). Protein NMR Spectroscopy. Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 978-0121644918.
  13. ^ Bernstein, M.A.; King, K.F.; Zhou, X.J. (2004). Handbook of MRI Pulse Sequences. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press. p. 960. ISBN 0-12-092861-2 – via
  14. ^ Weast, R.C.; Astle, M.J., eds. (1982). Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. E66. ISBN 0-8493-0463-6.
  15. ^ "proton gyromagnetic ratio". NIST. 2022.
  16. ^ "proton gyromagnetic ratio over 2 pi". NIST. 2022.
  17. ^ "shielded proton gyromagnetic ratio". NIST 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  18. ^ "shielded proton gyromagnetic ratio in MHz/T". NIST 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Tritium Solid State NMR Spectroscopy at PNNL for Evaluation of Hydrogen Storage Materials" (PDF). November 2015.
  20. ^ "shielded helion gyromagnetic ratio". NIST 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2024.
  21. ^ "shielded helion gyromagnetic ratio in MHz/T". NIST 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2024.
  22. ^ Makulski, Wlodzimierz (2020). "Explorations of Magnetic Properties of Noble Gases: The Past, Present, and Future". Magnetochemistry. 6 (4): 65. doi:10.3390/magnetochemistry6040065.