A laser-based atomic magnetometer (LBAM) apparatus measures magnetic fields, comprising: a plurality of polarization detector cells to detect magnetic fields; a laser source optically coupled to the polarization detector cells; and a signal detector that measures the laser source after being coupled to the polarization detector cells, which may be alkali cells. A single polarization cell may be used for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) by prepolarizing the nuclear spins of an analyte, encoding spectroscopic and/or spatial information, and detecting NMR signals from the analyte with a laser-based atomic magnetometer to form NMR spectra and/or magnetic resonance images (MRI). There is no need of a magnetic field or cryogenics in the detection step, as it is detected through the LBAM.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL FUNDING
This ivention was made with U.S. Government surport under Contract Number DE-AC02-05 CH11231 between the U.S. Department of Energy and The Regents of the University of California for the management and operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The U.S. Government has the right in this invention.