Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a physical observation in which nuclei in a strong constant magnetic field are perturbed by a weak oscillating magnetic field (in the near field and therefore not involving electromagnetic waves) and respond by producing an electromagnetic signal with a frequency characteristic of the magnetic field at the nucleus. This process occurs near resonance, when the oscillation frequency matches the intrinsic frequency of the nuclei, which depends on the strength of the static magnetic field, the chemical environment, and the magnetic properties of the isotope involved; in practical applications with static magnetic fields up to ca. 20 tesla, the frequency is similar to VHF and UHF television broadcasts (60–1000 MHz). NMR results from specific magnetic properties of certain atomic nuclei. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is widely used to determine the structure of organic molecules in solution and study molecular physics, crystals as well as non-crystalline materials. NMR is also routinely used in advanced medical imaging techniques, such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). All isotopes that contain an odd number of protons and/or neutrons (see Isotope) have an intrinsic nuclear magnetic moment and angular momentum, in other words a nonzero nuclear spin, while all nuclides with even numbers of both have a total spin of zero. The most commonly used nuclei are 1H and 13C, although isotopes of many other elements can be studied by high-field NMR spectroscopy as well. A key feature of NMR is that the resonance frequency of a particular simple substance is usually directly proportional to the strength of the applied magnetic field. It is this feature that is exploited in imaging techniques; if a sample is placed in a non-uniform magnetic field then the resonance frequencies of the sample's nuclei depend on where in the field they are located. Since the resolution of the imaging technique depends on the magnitude of the magnetic field gradient, many efforts are made to develop increased gradient field strength.