A sensitive nuclear magnetic resonance setup could easily take up a room — just think of the analogous magnetic resonance imaging machines in hospitals. Not only does it take up that much space, but it requires an expensive magnet and, often, cryogenics. Recently, however, researchers in Berkeley and Boulder teamed up to miniaturize this bulky process and take the magnet out of the equation by bringing together microfluidics, atomic magnetometry, and optics.

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