Physical chemistry

Most people remember chemistry from their schooldays as largely incomprehensible, a subject that was fact-rich but understanding-poor, smelly, and so far removed from the real world of events and pleasures that there seemed little point, except for the most introverted, in coming to terms with its grubby concepts, spells, recipes, and rules. Peter Atkins wants to change all that. In this Very Short Introduction to Chemistry, he encourages us to look at chemistry anew, through a chemist's eyes, in order to understand its central concepts and to see how it contributes not only towards our material comfort, but also to human culture. Atkins shows how chemistry provides the infrastructure of our world, through the chemical industry, the fuels of heating, power generation, and transport, as well as the fabrics of our clothing and furnishings. By considering the remarkable achievements that chemistry has made, and examining its place between both physics and biology, Atkins presents a fascinating, clear, and rigorous exploration of the world of chemistry - its structure, core concepts, and exciting contributions to new cutting-edge technologies. 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.
The aim of this graduate-level textbook is to present and explain, at other than a superficial level, modem ab initio approaches to the calculation of the electronic structure and properties of molecules. The first three chapters contain introductory material culminating in a thorough discussion of the Hartree-Fock approximation.The remaining four chapters describe a variety of more sophisticated approaches, which improve upon this approximation.
Among the highlights of the seven chapters are (1) a review of the mathematics (mostly matrix algebra) required for the rest of the book, (2) an introduction to the basic techniques, ideas, and notations of quantum chemistry, (3) a thorough discussion of the Hartree-Fock approximation, (4) a treatment of configuration interaction (Cl) and approaches incorporating electron correlation, (5) a description of the independent electron pair approximation and a variety of more sophisticated approaches that incorporate coupling between pairs, (6) a consideration of the perturbative approach to the calculation of the correlation energy of many-electron systems and (7) a brief introduction to the use of the one-particle many-body Green's function in quantum chemistry.
Over 150 exercises, designed to help the reader acquire a working knowledge of the material, are embedded in the text. The book is largely self-contained and requires no prerequisite other than a solid undergraduate physical chemistry course; however, some exposure to quantum chemistry will enhance the student's appreciation of the material. Clear and well-written, this text is ideal for the second semester of a two-semester course in quantum chemistry, or for a special topics course.
"A large number of exercises of a broad range of difficulty make this book even more useful…a good addition to the literature on thermodynamics at the undergraduate level." — Philosophical Magazine
Although written on an introductory level, this wide-ranging text provides extensive coverage of topics of current interest in equilibrium statistical mechanics. Indeed, certain traditional topics are given somewhat condensed treatment to allow room for a survey of more recent advances.
The book is divided into four major sections. Part I deals with the principles of quantum statistical mechanics and includes discussions of energy levels, states and eigenfunctions, degeneracy and other topics. Part II examines systems composed of independent molecules or of other independent subsystems. Topics range from ideal monatomic gas and monatomic crystals to polyatomic gas and configuration of polymer molecules and rubber elasticity. An examination of systems of interacting molecules comprises the nine chapters in Part Ill, reviewing such subjects as lattice statistics, imperfect gases and dilute liquid solutions. Part IV covers quantum statistics and includes sections on Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics, photon gas and free-volume theories of quantum liquids.
Each chapter includes problems varying in difficulty — ranging from simple numerical exercises to small-scale "research" propositions. In addition, supplementary reading lists for each chapter invite students to pursue the subject at a more advanced level. Readers are assumed to have studied thermodynamics, calculus, elementary differential equations and elementary quantum mechanics.
Because of the flexibility of the chapter arrangements, this book especially lends itself to use in a one-or two-semester graduate course in chemistry, a one-semester senior or graduate course in physics or an introductory course in statistical mechanics.
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