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Physical Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences

Raymond Chang Williams College
John W. Thoman Jr. Williams College


Physical Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences is intended for use in a one-year introductory course in physical chemistry that is typically offered at the junior level (the
third year in a college or university program). Students in the course will have taken
general chemistry and introductory organic chemistry. In writing this book, our aim is
to present the standard topics at the appropriate level with emphasis on readability and
clarity. While mathematical treatment of many topics is necessary, we have provided
a physical picture wherever possible for understanding the concepts. Only the basic
skills of differential and integral calculus are required for working with the equations.
The limited number of integral equations needed to solve the end-of-chapter problems
may be readily accessed from handbooks of chemistry and physics or software such
as Mathematica.

The 20 chapters of the text can be divided into three parts. Chapters 1–9 cover
thermodynamics and related subjects. Quantum mechanics and molecular spectroscopy are treated in Chapters 10–14. The last part (Chapters 15–20) describes chemical kinetics, photochemistry, intermolecular forces, solids and liquids, and statistical
thermodynamics. We have chosen a traditional ordering of topics, starting with thermodynamics because of the accessibility of the concrete examples and the closeness
to everyday experience. For instructors who prefer the “atoms first” or molecular
approach, the order can be readily switched between the first two parts without loss
of continuity.

Within each chapter, we introduce topics, define terms, and provide relevant
worked examples, pertinent applications, and experimental details. Many chapters
include end-of-chapter appendices, which cover more detailed derivations, background, or explanation than the body of the chapter. Each chapter concludes with a
summary of the most important equations introduced within the chapter, an extensive
and accessible list of further readings, and many end-of-chapter problems. Answers
to the even-numbered numerical problems may be found in the back of the book.
The end-of-book appendices provide some review of relevant mathematical concepts,
basic physics definitions relevant to chemistry, and thermodynamic data. A glossary
enables the student to quickly check definitions. Inside of the front and back covers,
we include tables of information that are generally useful throughout the book. The
second color (red) enables the student to more easily interpret plots and elaborate diagrams and adds a pleasing look to the book.

An accompanying Solutions Manual, written by Helen O. Leung and Mark D.
Marshall, provides complete solutions to all of the problems in the text. This supplement contains many useful ideas and insights into problem-solving techniques.

The lines drawn between traditional disciplines are continually being modified as
new fields are being defined. This book provides a foundation for further study at the
more advanced level in physical chemistry, as well as interdisciplinary subjects that
include biophysical chemistry, materials science, and environmental chemistry fields
such as atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry. We hope that you find our book
useful when teaching or learning physical chemistry.

It is a pleasure to thank the following people who provided helpful comments
and suggestions: Dieter Bingemann (Williams College), George Bodner (Purdue
University), Taina Chao (SUNY Purchase), Nancy Counts Gerber (San Francisco State
University), Donald Hirsh (The College of New Jersey), Raymond Kapral (University
of Toronto), Sarah Larsen (University of Iowa), David Perry (University of Akron),
Christopher Stromberg (Hood College), and Robert Topper (The Cooper Union).

We also thank Bruce Armbruster and Kathy Armbruster of University Science
Books for their support and general assistance. We are fortunate to have Jennifer
Uhlich of Wilsted & Taylor as our production manager. Her high professional standard and attention to detail greatly helped the task of transforming the manuscript
into an attractive final product. We very much appreciate Laurel Muller for her artistic
and technical skills in laying out the text and rendering many figures. Robert Ishi and
Yvonne Tsang are responsible for the elegant design of the book. John Murdzek did a
meticulous job of copyediting. Our final thanks go to Jane Ellis, who supervised the
project and took care of all the details, big and small.

Raymond Chang
John W. Thoman, Jr