It is still the best book on basic NMR

I must say that the more I read this book, the more I like it. I read the book from cover to cover. Some new materials have been added in the second edition. A new chapter on product operator analysis of spin systems such as AX2 and AX3. These additions make it possible to discuss topics such as DEPT and APT techniques. Another addition is the discussion on double quantum spectroscopy. The chatper on relaxation had been completely re-organized. The use of 2 colors makes the illustraions much better. All the other chapters are the same as the first edition.

When I reviewed the first edition, I did not look at the problems at the end of each chapter. This time I looked at the problems at the end of each chapter and went through each of them. The problems are not tricky. However, they do reinforce what is discussed in the text and are very informative. The spin evolution due to offset and couplings in a pulse sequence can make the mathematics confusing on first reading. Attempting the problems helps one to understand much better. Anyone who seriously wishes in understanding NMR should attempt all the problems at the end of each chapter. As I said in my previous review, the mathematical techniques that are used throughout the book are fairly elementary. Any person with training in freshman mathematics should have no problems in understanding the mathematics. The author presented all the mathematics in a step by step fashion. The use of quantum mechanics is minimal. 90% of mathematics is operator algebra and the use of trigonometric identities. These two mathematical techniques are used repeatedly to understand pulse sequences and spectral appearances of common 2-D techniques such as COSY, HSQC, HMBC and NOESY.It is amazing that such simple mathematical techniques can lead one to understand so much about NMR spectroscopy. If you understand what is in the text, you should have no difficulties in working out the problems at the end of each chapter. The solution manual to the problems can be downloaded from the web and is extremely helpful.

Although I have not completely finished reading Levitt’s book, “Spin Dynamics”, I have read over 400 pages. I must say that I like this book more. The approaches of these two books are very different. I feel that this book is more coherent. Levitt did not present the mathematics in a step by step fashion like this book. I am not saying that Levitt’s book is bad, it is just that this book is better.

Compared with Neil Jacobsen’s book, “NMR Spectroscopy Explained”, it is hard to decide which is a better book. Jacobsen’s book has more material but it costs much more (>$100). However, there are areas that Jacobsen’s book does not cover very well. The chapter on relaxation in Jacobsen book is relatively light. There is only one paragraph on chemical shift anisotropy. Keeler’s book gives a very thorough mathematical treatment on relaxation due to dipolar-dipolar interaction and chemical shift anisotropy. Whereas Jacobsen’s book has many organic chemistry examples, Keeler’s book mainly deals with mathematical aspect of NMR using operator algebra. There are no exercise at the end of each chapter in Jacobsen’s book. If you just want to buy one NMR book, I would recommend Jacobsen’s because it covers most of the stuff in Keeler’s book and has more. As far as clarity in the exposition of the subject of NMR spectroscopy is concerned, there are very few books that can rival these two books. My recommendation is to have both.

If you have the first edition, I do not think you will regret if you purchase the second edition. The Kindle edition is now available and is only $30. I went through the Kindle edition on, the electronic edition is as good as the print copy.


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