The electric field strength and distribution in MRI/MRS probes was assessed with a quartz crystal whose resonance frequency coincided with the probe frequency. A quartz crystal was used as the sensor because: (i) it was capable of producing a resonance signal when it was excited with a pulsed RF electric field; and (ii) the resonance signal was proportional to the square of the electric field strength (or RF excitation power). The sensor was placed in the vicinity of the MR coil under evaluation and was excited with a short RF pulse applied to the coil and, immediately after the pulse, the resonance signal induced was picked up by the same coil acting as a receiver coil. Intensities of the signals were used to assess the distribution of RF electric fields in the coil. This device is useful for probe design, particularly in the minimization of dielectric losses, which have been attributed to the presence of electric fields in MR coils.