ReseñaThe authors' goal is the presentation of the three major areas of physical chemistry: molecular structure, the equilibrium properties of systems, and the kinetics of transformations of systems. The theoretical foundations of these subjects are, respectively, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and equilibrium statistical mechanics, and chemical kinetics and kinetic theory. These theories, firmly based on experimental findings, constitute the structure required for the understanding of past accomplishments and the basis for recognition and development of significant new areas in physical chemistry.
The presentation of the theories of physical chemistry requires careful discussions at several levels of exposition. The authors' approach aims toward depth of understanding of fundamentals more than toward breadth of recognition of the multitude of activities that go on under the name of physical chemistry. The organization of the book, with its three principal sections, should make this clear. The mathematical level begins with elementary calculus, and rises to the use of simple properties of partial differential equations and the special functions that enter into their solutions. The authors' intention is to keep the reader's mind on the scienc rather than on the mathematics, especially at the beginning. This procedure also corresponds to the pattern, followed by many students, of taking physical chemistry and advanced calculus concurrently. Appendices develop the details of the mathematical tools as they are needed.
The text discussion contains more material than can be covered in the traditional one-year physical chemistry sequence; it is designed to fulfill the dual purpose of providing a clear and incisive treatment of fundamental principles at a level accessible to all students while broadening the perspectives and challenging the minds of the best students. Individual instructors will wish to make their own selections of material for inclusion and exclusion, respectively.