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Introduction to Molecular Thermodynamics

Robert M. Hanson St. Olaf College
Susan Green St. Olaf College

“I wish I had learned thermodynamics this way!” That’s what the authors hear all the time from instructors using Introduction to Molecular Thermodynamics. Starting with just a few basic principles of probability and the distribution of energy, the book takes students (and faculty!) on an adventure into the inner workings of the molecular world like no other.

Print Book, ISBN 978-1-891389-49-8, US $55
eBook, eISBN 978-1-938787-63-8, US $41
Copyright 2008
318 pages, Softbound

Summary

“I wish had learned thermodynamics this way!” That’s what the authors hear all the time from instructors using Introduction to Molecular Thermodynamics. Starting with just a few basic principles of probability and the distribution of energy, the book takes students (and faculty!) on an adventure into the inner workings of the molecular world like no other. Made to fit into a standard second-semester of a traditional first-year chemistry course, or as a supplement for more advanced learners, the book takes the reader from probability to Gibbs energy and beyond, following a logical step-by-step progression of ideas, each just a slight expansion of the previous.  Filled with examples ranging from casinos to lasers, from the “high energy bonds” of ATP to endangered coral reefs, Introduction to Molecular Thermodynamics hits the mark for students and faculty alike who have an interest in understanding the world around them in molecular terms.

Key Features

  • Develops students’ intuition and quantitative confidence.
  • Designed to fit within the second semester of a traditional first-year chemistry course.
  • Includes chapter-ending summaries, problems and brain teasers.
  • Answers to selected problems appear at the back of the book.
  • Provides an assortment of helpful appendices, including Mathematical Tricks.

Translated into Japanese.


Resources

List of Adoptions
Preface
Complete Frontmatter
Author’s Website for this Book
View or Download Sample Chapter One
Errata

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Reviews

“Throughout, Introduction to Molecular Thermodynamics is a friendly and appealing book. There are not many textbooks that are a pleasure to read, and this is one of them. I would encourage its consideration for course adoption, even if you have to make up a new course.”
-J. Chem. Ed.

“I am excited to see this material introduced in a first-year course. Statistics, as the driving force behind chemical equilibria and thermodynamics, is a profound concept that most students only get a taste of in physical chemistry. This book provides an excellent way to introduce these ideas at an early stage.”
-J. Matthew Hutchison, Swarthmore College

“Hanson and Green offer a very valuable work on molecular thermodynamics. Highly recommended.”
-Choice

Robert M. Hanson St. Olaf College

Robert Hanson is a Professor of Chemistry at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota, where he has been teaching since 1986. Trained as an organic chemist with Gilbert Stork at Columbia University, he shares a patent with 2001 Nobel Prize winner K.Barry Sharpless for the asymmetric epoxidation of allylic alcohols. His interest in thermodynamics goes back to early training at the California Institute of Technology, from which he got a B.S. degree in 1979. He spends his occasional moments of free time playing the violin in a community orchestra, piloting gliders, and designing new Sudoku strategies.

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Susan Green St. Olaf College

Susan Green has had the privilege of being both a student and a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where she was first introduced to the idea of teaching thermodynamics to first-year students. She trained as a physical chemist at the University of Minnesota studying the vibrational and electronic structure of small metal oxides as well as trying her hand at analytical chemistry. When she in not chasing after her two children with the help of her husband Hans, she can be found with a book.

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