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While the nuclear spin relaxation time changes in hydrating cement materials have been widely studied by various groups during the last 20 years, data on the self-diffusion behavior of the pore water during hydration of a cement paste are much scarcer. Taking advantage of improved spectrometer hardware for pulsed field gradient diffusometry and a specialized pulse sequence which is designed to compensate the detrimental effects of inner magnetic field gradients in the sample we have studied the water self-diffusion behavior in pastes prepared from white cement at various water/cement ratios. For the same mixtures, studies of the transverse spin relaxation behavior were also conducted. A comparison of the results from both techniques shows that the diffusion coefficient starts to decrease only much later than the relaxation times for all pastes studied. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.