History of NMR
NMR first observed by two independent groups: Purcell (Harvard) (Paraffin, 30 MHz); Bloch (Stanford) (water, 8 MHz)
1950: First pulsed experiment
1951: Observation of chemical shifts
1952: Purcell and Bloch share Nobel Prize for physics
Late 1950's: Commercial spectrometers available
ca. 1970: FT technique introduced, pioneered largely by Ernst. 13C NMR routine
1971: 2D NMR proposed by Jeener
post 1971: Explosion in experimental techniques in one, two or more dimensions. Availability and development of superconducting magnets allows use of much higher fields. Concurrent advances in computing technology allows for data manipulation in reasonable amounts of time.
1991: Ernst wins Nobel Prize for chemistry
1999: State of the art applications include solving the 3D structures of proteins up to 40 kD using 2, 3 and 4D NMR. Machines operating at 750 MHz for 1H are commercially available (cost ca. $2.5M) (900 MHz machines will be commercially available soon, estimated cost $10M - what a bargain!). Typical computers used require about 20 seconds for double Fourier transformation of a 2D data set 32 Mbytes in size.