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Peter Mansfield

Sir Peter Mansfield
Born (1933-10-09) 9 October 1933
Lambeth, London
Citizenship British
Nationality English
Alma mater Queen Mary College, University of London
Thesis Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods (1962)
Doctoral advisor Jack Powles
Known for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Notable awards
Spouse Jean Margaret Kibble (m. 1962)
Children 2

Sir Peter Mansfield FRS,[1] (born 9 October 1933), is an English physicist who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Paul Lauterbur, for discoveries concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Mansfield is a professor at the University of Nottingham.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


  • Early life 1
  • Education 2
  • Career 3
  • Awards and honours 4
  • Private life 5
  • References 6

Early life

Mansfield was born in

  1. ^ a b c "Fellows of the Royal Society". London:  
  2. ^ a b c Mansfield, Peter (2003). "Peter Mansfield: Autobiography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Peter Mansfield interview on Desert Island Discs
  4. ^ University of Nottingham: Peter Mansfield homepage Archived November 1, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Nobel Prize 2003 Press Release
  6. ^ Peter Mansfield US Patents
  7. ^ Peter Mansfield autobiography
  8. ^ Mansfield, Peter (1962). Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods (PhD thesis). Queen Mary College, University of London. 


Mansfield married Jean Margaret Kibble (b. 1935) in 1962. He has two daughters.

Private life

  • 1983 Gold Medal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • 1984 Joint award of the Royal Society Welcome Foundation Gold Medal and Prize.
  • 1986 Elected Fellow of Queen Mary College (now Queen Mary and Westfield College), London University
  • 1987 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)[1]
  • 1987 Elected President of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • 1988 Awarded Duddell Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics
  • 1988 Awarded Silvanus Thompson Medal by the British Institute of Radiology
  • 1989 Antoine Béclère Medal from the International Society of Radiology and the Antoine Béclère Institute in Paris
  • 1990 Royal Society Mullard Award (joint with John Mallard & Jim Hutchinson)
  • 1992 International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR) prize (joint with P. Lauterbur)
  • 1993 Knighted
  • 1993 Silver Plaque of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology
  • 1993 Elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Radiology and Honorary Member of the British Institute of Radiology
  • 1994 Elected Honorary Member of the Society of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Fellow of the Society of Magnetic Resonance
  • 1995 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Prize for MRI
  • 1995 Gold Medal of the European Congress of Radiology and the European Association of Radiology
  • 1997 Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Medicine with Paul Lauterbur
  • 2009 was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ceremony broadcast on ITV's Pride of Britain Awards

Awards and honours

In 1964 he returned to England to take up a place as a Lecturer at Nottingham University where he could continue his studies in multiple-pulse NMR. He was successively appointed Senior Lecturer in 1968 and Reader in 1970. During this period his team developed the MRI equipment with the help of grants from the Medical Research Council. It was not until the 1970s with Lauterbur's and Mansfield's developments that NMR could be used to produce images of the body. In 1990 Mansfield was appointed Professor of the Department of Physics until his retirement in 1994. Mansfield is credited with showing how the radio signals from MRI can be mathematically analysed, making interpretation of the signals into a useful image a possibility. He is also credited with discovering how fast imaging could be possible by developing the MRI protocol called echo-planar imaging. Echo-planar imaging allows T2* weighted images to be collected many times faster than previously possible. It also has made functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) feasible.

Following his PhD, Mansfield was invited to to postdoctoral research withr Charlie Slichter at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he carried out an NMR study of doped metals.


Mansfield graduated with a BSc from Queen Mary's in 1959. His final-year project, supervised by Dr. Jack Powles, was to construct a portable, transistor-based spectrometer to measure the Earth's magnetic field. Towards the end of this project Powles offered Mansfield a position in his NMR research group. Powles' interest was in studying molecular motion, mainly liquids. Mansfield's project was to build a pulsed NMR spectrometer to study solid polymer systems. He received his PhD in 1962; his thesis was titled Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods.[8]

After serving in the army for two years, Mansfield returned to Westcott and started studying for A-levels at night school. Two years later he gained entrance to study physics at Queen Mary College, London.


At the age of 18, having developed an interest in rocketry, Mansfield took up a job with the Rocket Propulsion Department of the Ministry of Supply in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Eighteen months later he was called up for National Service.

Mansfield grew up in Camberwell. During World War II he was evacuated from London, initially to Sevenoaks and then twice to Torquay, Devon, where he was able to stay with the same family on both occasions.[2] On returning to London after the war he was told by a school master to take the 11+ exam. Having never heard of the exam before, and having no time to prepare, Mansfield failed to gain a place at the local Grammar school. His mark was, however, high enough for him to go to a Central School in Peckham. At the age of 15 he was told by a careers teacher that science wasn't for him. He left school shortly afterwards to work as a printer's assistant.


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