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Physical Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

Peter Atkins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

24 April 2014 0199689091 978-0199689095
explains the principles and phenomena of physical chemistry. Using few formulas, Atkins shows how physical chemistry draws its ideas from physics, quantum mechanics, and mathematics, and how it has contributed to our understanding of the natural world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199689091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199689095
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


With the development of a variety of exciting new areas of research involving computational chemistry, nano- and smart materials, and applications of the recently discovered graphene, there can be no doubt that physical chemistry is a vitally important field. It is also perceived as the most daunting branch of chemistry, being necessarily grounded in physics and mathematics and drawing as it does on quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical thermodynamics.

With his typical clarity and hardly a formula in sight, Peter Atkins' Very Short Introduction explores the contributions physical chemistry has made to all branches of chemistry. Providing an insight into its central concepts Atkins reveals the cultural contributions physical chemistry has made to our understanding of the natural world.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Author

An exemplary book, both for those who, like me, want to refresh and modernize his obsolete knowledge, and for those (students, pupils) whom you will introduce into this fascinating subject. Without any reserve: cordially recommended! (Hans Bouma, NVOX)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very well written and understandable introduction to physical chemistry
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3.0 out of 5 stars A considerably confusing "introduction" 20 Aug 2014
By R. Gonzalez - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While the author is a very engaging communicator, to my mind he hasn't actually written a true introductory book for those with little or no prior knowledge of physical chemistry here. Like all too many writers of "introductory" books, what he's written is more of a re-introductory booklet for those already familiar with the field and its jargon, who simply want to go back and re-visit the fundamental concepts of the field in a more romanticized and philosophical way.

But even at that, the writer is apt to confuse you, for he starts using terminologies well before he's even defined them and before you even know that any explanation of those terms is forthcoming. And so, in the interim, if you don't just give up on the book, you're muddling through, completely confused and feeling quite bad about your intelligence.

Atkins' explanations of Gibbs free energy, entropy, and enthalpy, despite his efforts to speak plain English, are about as confusing as any I've ever read on the subject. I'm giving this book three stars only because I feel like his heart's perhaps in the right place, but if I didn't suspect that, I'd give it two.
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