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I am doing research into NMR right now in several different sources, and it seems as if there are two competing models which are used to describe how radio waves can impact nuclear spins. The first model only considers the energy levels of different spin states, saying that if the difference between two energy levels is $\delta E$, then the frequency required to switch between them can be calculated from the relation $hv=\delta E$. In the other model, however, the influence of the RF radiation is portrayed as a time-varying magnetic field $B_1$ (perpendicular to the static magnetic field $B_0$), and the impacts of this field on spin dynamics are calculated.

My question is: which one of these approaches is more "correct," or are they both equivalent? In other words, do the nuclei in NMR respond to the energy carried by RF photons, or to the alternating magnetic field that they generate?

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The second model is the classical limit of the first model.

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