You don’t need to understand the nuances of chemical shift anisotropy (I don’t) to understand the message here. Sir Peter Mansfield talks about “the birth of the MRI” . . .
“In those days coffee and tea breaks were taken in the tea room of the Physics Department. It was an opportunity for members of staff and students, sometimes in different research groups, to interact and exchange ideas. On this occasion all other people had left the tea room except for me, Alan Garroway and my student Peter Grannell. We had exhausted all the readily available materials for studying chemical shift anisotropy. Among the results that we had obtained was an extreme elongation of the free induction decay of Fluorine in a single crystal of Calcium Fluoride. It suddenly occurred to me that by removing the dipole-dipole interaction in Calcium Fluoride it ought to be possible, at least theoretically, to look at the atomic structure of Fluorine by imposing an external magnetic field gradient. Alan, who had worked with gradients during his PhD studies, was skeptical, but Peter Grannell was more amenable to the idea. I rushed away from this meeting and wrote up several pages of calculations showing the theoretical possibilities . . .”
Tea rooms, coffee shops, meeting places . . . the home of big ideas. Fantastic.