Why Chemical Reactions Happen Paperback – 12 Jun 2003
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I feel that Peter and James have done a tremendous job of explaining chemical reactions using perspectives that are not used in traditional text books. They explain reactions in terms of bonding theories and orbitals rather than solely using kinetics and equilibrium. The author's use of visual representations throughout the book increases the comprehension of the material covered in the text. I look forward to using this textbook in my organic chemistry courses. Physical Sciences Educational Reviews 2004.
'Why Chemical Reactions Happen is one of nature's secrets....This insightful book reveals in clear and impressive style what motivates molecules to metamorphose into something new. It supplies all the essentials for understanding entrophy and how to choreograph molecular transformations to its music' Times Higher Education Supplement, February 2004.
About the Author
James Keeler studied Chemistry at Oxford graduating in 1981. He continued at Oxford working under Professor Ray Freeman, F.R.S., on new techniques in high resolution N.M.R. spectropscopy; he was awarded the D.Phil in 1984. Later that year he moved to the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge appointed first as a University Demonstrator, then subsequently as a University Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. His research interests continue in N.M.R. and he has published around 60 papers in this area. In 1994 James was appointed as Director of Teaching in the Department. He is a Fellow of Selwyn College and there has been very involved in the teaching of Chemistry and the Natural Sciences, as well as other aspects of the academic and administrative life of the College. In 1989 he was awarded the Meldola Medal by the Royal Society of Chemistry and in 1998 he received a Pilkington Teaching Prize from the University of Cambridge. Peter Wothers studied Chemistry at Cambridge, graduating in 1991 before undertaking a Ph.D. under Professor A.J. Kirby on stereoelectronic effects and conformational analysis in organic chemistry. In 1996 he was appointed to the newly established post of 'Teaching Fellow' in the Department of Chemistry. He lectures to the undergraduates and also runs the physical chemistry practical courses. He is involved in teaching chemistry to all age groups from giving demonstration lectures to the general public and school children to running courses for teachers designed to update their subject knowledge. In 2002 he was awarded a Pilkington Teaching Prize from the University. During his time at Cambridge, Peter has remained at St Catharine's College where, amongst other things, he is the Director of Studies in Chemistry.
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Overall, despite the black and white illustrations, this book is anything but overbearing and would make an excellent introduction for any chemist or potential chemist.
The book is aimed at first year undergraduates/those who are about to begin studying chemistry at university (and I would definitely recommend it as pre-university reading) however, I think it would also be of interest to a wider audience - even though I'm a chemistry graduate I found reading the book useful because it explained the basics more clearly than any other textbook I've read.
This book is a perfect bridge between A level and degree level chemistry. Anyone studying chemistry to a degree level will ultimately need a thorough mathematical understanding of the subject. However, you can certainly build your mathematical knowledge on this solid conceptual foundation.
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