Atkins' Physical Chemistry, 7th Ed. Paperback – 13 Dec 2002
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"the book retains the hallmark of the Atkins' style: authorative and clear" Times Higher Education Supplement, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Optically, the book is a gem, and the authors have gone to great pains to use all the tricks at the modern printer's disposal.
Despite being, perhaps, somewhat heavy going if you lack the prerequisites, they manage to clarify almost anything for the reader willing to spend the effort.
One amazing thing is, that one does not require a stiff background in chemistry itself. Possible stumbling blocks lie in the maths, and the autors are extremely generous with worked examples and justifications.
A very useful feature is that the reader can cover one of two tracks, the traditional approach and the molecular approach in either order he or she chooses. The molecular approach doesn't start until chapter 8, but if you wish, you can jump in right there and hardly feel a loss not having read the previous seven. (It is heartily recommended that you do anyway -the classical approach is a beautiful subject in its own right.)
So, Mr. Atkins and Mr. de Paula, continue improving your shining work, if you can come up with ways to do so. As the book is now, I imagine new ideas are getting hard to come by, but if someone buys just one book on physical chemistry, this should be it.
That this is, as another reviewer pointed out, the de facto undergrad physical chemistry text is a problem because there isn't really a widely-available alternative. Lazy lecturers just recommend this book if their course is in physical or physical inorganic chemistry as they seem to assume it will contain everything their students need. Sadly this is rarely the case (in my experience). It may be worth obtaining some of the OUP primers for some of the more specialist topics or trying to find some more specific texts in your university library.
I feel that the mathematics in this book is too advanced. Many of my undergraduate colleagues struggled to understand the derivations and justifications, for example. But I suppose this depends entirely on your mathematical background; I came to university with A-level Pure Maths and had few problems. Those who had only AS Pure (or A-level Pure/Applied) seemed to find the material far more challenging.
In the book's defense, the topics on quantum theory are far more rigorous and thorough than most of the other material covered. If you are on an undergrad chemistry degree you probably won't do that much quantum mechanics though, so (as stated above) you may want to just find a dedicated book in the library.
There are some very clear colour diagrams in this book which can help to augment the text on a few topics (again, particularly the chapters on QM).Read more ›
I quite liked the way that it can be read as both a traditonal physical chemistry textbook and a molecular physical chemistry textbook - and the flow charts ploting each course.
Overall, better (by that I mean less boring) that expected.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delivered on time and as described. Recommend to your local library people!Published 10 months ago by Amar
Excellent detail, excellent diagrams and overall a robust text.Published 13 months ago by geoffrey bray
As the newer edition is now available the online resources no longer work. However still a good book with plenty of practice questions and helpful chapter summariesPublished 21 months ago by Sarah Asplin
Nice book to have even if you have a look at the odd topic like I do. Would really recommendPublished on 26 Jun. 2014 by QAW
I ordered "Atkins Physical Chemistry" from Amazon Warehouse Deals, for my son at University. I took a risk as the book was second hand, so I trusted the description "good... Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2013 by Joyce S
This book has been very useful for me, to consult and learn from, as a student studying chemistry at university.Published on 16 April 2013 by Ruby
A must have book for any undergrad student in: chemistry, material science and any other discipline that needs thermodynamics.
I bought this second hand for under £15. Read more
I took a Chemistry unit in my first year at university. It was recommended that we buy this particular textbook. Read morePublished on 29 Dec. 2009 by Bruce