Generating a spin echo. The presence of magnetic field inhomogeneities causes additional de-phasing of the proton magnetic moments. The Larmor frequency is slower where the magnetic field is reduced and faster where the field is increased resulting in a loss or gain in relative phase respectively. After a period of half the echo time, TE/2, the application of a 180° rf pulse causes an instantaneous change in sign of the phase shifts by rotating the spins (in this example) about the y axis. As the differences in Larmor frequency remain unchanged, the proton magnetic moments the move back into phase over a similar time period, reversing the de-phasing effect of the magnetic field inhomogeneities to generate a spin echo. In addition to the effect of the 180° refocusing pulse, gradients are applied to de-phase and re-phase the signal for imaging purposes. Note that for spin echo pulse sequences, the second gradient has the same sign as the first, as the 180° pulse also changes the sign of the phase shifts caused by the first gradient.