The Physical Basis of Chemistry


  • Warren Warren, Princeton University, New Jersey, U.S.A.

If the text you're using for general chemistry seems to lack sufficient mathematics and physics in its presentation of classical mechanics, molecular structure, and statistics, this complementary science series title may be just what you're looking for. Written for the advanced lower-division undergraduate chemistry course, The Physical Basis of Chemistry, Second Edition, offers students an opportunity to understand and enrich the understanding of physical chemistry with some quantum mechanics, the Boltzmann distribution, and spectroscopy. Posed and answered are questions concerning everyday phenomena. Unlike other texts on this subject, however, Dr. Warren deals directly with the substance of the questions, avoiding the use of predigested material more appropriate for memorization exercises than for actual concrete learning. The only prerequisite is first-semester calculus or familiarity with one-variable derivatives. In this new edition, the entire text has been rewritten and keyed with an accompanying website, which contains instructive QuickTime movies on topics presented in the text to enhance student learning and participation.
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Appropriate for the chemistry professional and the educated layperson who has an interest in the practical applications of physical chemistry.


Book information

  • Published: January 2000
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-735855-0


se for the First Edition: "Both [Warren's] choice of material and his style and flair of presentation are exceptionally good." --Dudley Herschbach, Harvard University "Professor Warren writes clearly and forcefully. His expression is at a high level but it is presented in an inviting manner for students-not condescending and not too cute." --Richard N. Zare, Stanford University "This is a great book to supplement either an advanced general chemistry course or a junior-level physical chemistry course... As a supplement to an introductory chemistry textbook, it would provide mathematically advanced students with additional challenge and rigor. As a supplement to a physical chemistry textbook, it would provide a bridge between the standard introductory material and the mathematically more sophisticated physical chemistry texts."
--Deborah Huntley, Saginaw State University

Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsChapter 1. The Tools of the Trade: Mathematical Concepts1.1 Units of Measurement1.2 Common Functions and Chemical Applications1.3 Vectors and Directions1.4 Exponentials and Logarithms1.5 ProblemsChapter 2. Essentials of Calculus for Chemical Applications2.1 Derivatives2.2 Applications of Derivatives2.3 Principles of Integration2.4 ProblemsChapter 3. Essential Physical Concepts for Chemistry3.1 Forces and Interactions3.2 Kinetic and Potential Energy3.3 Harmonic Motion3.4 Introduction to Waves3.5 Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Interactions3.6 ProblemsChapter 4. Introduction to Statistics and Statistical Mechanics4.1 The "Random Walk" Problem4.2 The Normal (Gaussian) Distribution4.3 Applications of the Normal Distribution in Chemistry and Physics4.4 The Boltzmann Distribution4.5 Applications of the Boltzmann Distribution4.6 Applications of Statistics to Kinetics and Thermodynamics4.7 ProblemsChapter 5. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics5.1 Prelude5.2 Blackbody Radiation: Light as Particles5.3 Heat Capacity and the Photoelectric Effect5.4 Orbital Motion and Angular Momentum5.5 Atomic Structure and Spectra: Quantization of Energy5.6 Particles as Waves5.7 The Consequences of Wave-Particle Duality5.8 Classical Determinism and Quamtum Indeterminacy5.9 Applications of the Uncertainty Principle5.10 Angular Momentum and Quantization of Measurements5.11 Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging5.12 Summary5.13 ProblemsChapter 6. Applications of Quantum Mechanics6.1 Wave Mechanics6.2 Particle-In-A-Box: Exact Solution6.3 Schrödinger's Equation for the Hydrogen Atom6.4 Multielectron Atoms and Molecules6.5 ProblemsChapter 7. The Kinetic Theory of Gases7.1 Collisional Dynamics7.2 Properties of Ideal Gases7.3 Assumptions of the Kinetic Theory: A Second Look7.4 Summary7.5 ProblemsChapter 8. The Interaction of Radiation with Matter8.1 Introduction to Absorption and Emission8.2 Molecular Spectroscopy8.3 Modern Laser Spectroscopy8.4 ProblemsReferences and Additional Readings