Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in Solid Hydrogen

Phys. Rev. 91, 631 – Published 1 August 1953
F. Reif and E. M. Purcell


The fine structure of the nuclear magnetic resonance line in solid hydrogen at low temperatures (1.15°K) was studied experimentally using a recording meter technique. The observed line shape can be explained quantitatively by the magnetic dipole interaction of the two protons in a hydrogen molecule, provided one takes into consideration the effect of the crystalline potential responsible for lifting the rotational degeneracy of the ortho-molecules in the solid. Extremely general assumptions concerning the nature of this crystalline potential are sufficient to account for the nuclear resonance data; in particular, one can treat the case where this potential, by virtue of the random mixture of ortho- and para-molecules in the solid, is not symmetric and not the same at the positions of different ortho-molecules. An apparent hysteresis effect in solid hydrogen was observed and some experiments were also performed on solid HD and D2. The general theory developed in connection with the foregoing experiments also predicts the detectability in solid hydrogen of a resonance line in zero external magnetic field, this line constituting a direct measure of the dipole interaction responsible for the fine structure of the resonance line in high fields. Despite experimental difficulties peculiar to the zero-field experiment, this resonance line was found at the expected frequency of about 165 kc/sec.


  • Received 13 April 1953
  • Published in the issue dated August 1953

© 1953 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

F. Reif* and E. M. Purcell

  • Lyman Laboratory of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • *Present address: Institute for the Study of Medals, the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

References (Subscription Required)

Authorization Required




Log In



Article Lookup
Paste a citation or DOI

Enter a citation
  1. Enter a citation to look up or terms to search.

    Ex: "PRL 112 068103", "Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 068103", "10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.068103"