Malcolm Levitt is renowned for his work in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. This analytical chemistry technique is often used to check the content, purity and structure of a sample. NMR methods can be applied to many fields, including drug development, analysing the structure of biological molecules and medical imaging.
Malcolm has made seminal contributions to the field of NMR spectroscopy through his invention of original techniques. NMR exploits the fact that the nucleus — or centre — of an atom has electrical charge. By applying a magnetic field to the nucleus, a signal is given off that is different for each atom, giving each material its own signature.
Malcolm is currently Professor of Physical Chemistry and Head of Magnetic Resonance at the University of Southampton. He has won many awards, including the 2008 Laukien Prize in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. He sits on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Chemical Physics and has also published several textbooks on NMR.