Physical chemistry stands at the intersection of the power and generality of classical and quantum physics with the minute molecular complexity of chemistry and biology. Any molecular process that can be envisioned as a ﬂow from a higher energy state to a lower state is subject to analysis by the methods of classical thermodynamics. Chemical thermodynamics tells us where a process is going. Chemical kinetics tells us how long it will take to get there.
Evidence for and application of many of the most subtle and abstract principles of quantum mechanics are to be found in the physical interpretation of chemical phenomena. The vast expansion of spectroscopy from line spectra of atoms are well known in the nineteenth century to the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of today’s diagnostic procedures is a result of our gradually enhanced understanding of the quantum mechanical interactions of energy with simple atomic or complex molecular systems.
Mathematical methods developed in the domain of physical chemistry can be successfully applied to very different phenomena. In the study of seemingly unrelated phenomena, we are astonished to ﬁnd that electrical potential across a capacitor, the rate of isomerization of cyclopentene, and the growth of marine larvae either as individuals or as populations have been successfully modelled by the same ﬁrst-order differential equation. Many people in diverse ﬁelds use physical chemistry but do not have the opportunity to take a rigorous three-semester course or to master one of the several page texts in this large and diverse ﬁeld.
Concise Physical Chemistry is intended to meet
(a) The needs of professionals in ﬁelds other than physical chemistry who need to be able to master or review a limited portion of physical chemistry or
(b) The need for instructors who require a manageable text for teaching a one-semester course in the essentials of the subject. The present text is not, however, a diluted form of physical chemistry. Topics are treated as brief, self-contained units, graded in difﬁculty from reintroduction to some of the concepts of general chemistry in the ﬁrst few chapters to research-level computer applications in the later chapters. I wish to acknowledge my obligations to Anita Lekhwani and Rebekah Amos of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. and to Tony Li of Scientiﬁc Computing, Long Island University. I also thank the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Science Foundation for generous allocations of computer time, and the H. R. Whiteley Foundation of the University of Washington for summer research fellowships during which part of this book was written. Finally, though many people have helped me in my attempts to better appreciate the beauty of this vast and variegated subject, this book is dedicated to the memory of my ﬁrst teacher of physical chemistry, Walter Kauzmann.
Much of chemistry is motivated by asking ‘How’? How do I make primary alcohol? React a Grignard reagent with formaldehyde. Physical chemistry is motivated by asking ‘Why’? The Grignard reagent and formaldehyde follow a molecular dance known as a reaction mechanism in which stronger bonds are made at the expense of weaker bonds. If you are interested in asking ‘why’ and not just ‘how’, then you need to understand physical chemistry.
Physical Chemistry: How Chemistry Works takes a fresh approach to teach in physical chemistry. This modern textbook is designed to excite and engage undergraduate chemistry students and prepare them for how they will employ physical chemistry in real life. The student-friendly approach and practical, contemporary examples facilitate an understanding of the physical-chemical aspects of any system, allowing students of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and biochemistry to be fluent in the essentials of physical chemistry in order to understand synthesis, intermolecular interactions and materials properties. For students who are deeply interested in the subject of physical chemistry, the textbook facilitates further study by connecting them to the frontiers of research.
· Provides students with the physical and mathematical machinery to understand the physical-chemical aspects of any system.
· Integrates regular examples drawn from the literature, from contemporary issues and research, to engage students with relevant and illustrative details.
· Important topics are introduced and returned to in later chapters: key concepts are reinforced and discussed in more depth as students acquire more tools.
· Chapters begin with a preview of important concepts and conclude with a summary of important equations.
· Each chapter includes worked examples and exercises: discussion questions, simple equation manipulation questions, and problem-solving exercises.
· Accompanied by supplementary online material: worked examples for students and solutions manual for instructors.
· Written by an experienced instructor, researcher and author in physical chemistry, with a voice and perspective that is pedagogical and engaging.
1. Ideal Gas Law
2. Real Gases
6. Gibb’s Free Energy
8. Phase Rule
9. Chemical Kinetics
10. Liquids & Solids
12. Coulometry & Conductivity
13. Electrochemical Cells
14. Wave Mechanics
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