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127 Reviews
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atkins is getting better. Still not the best.
People either like Atkins' Physical Chemistry or loathe it. I like his book. The problems at the end of each section are excellent. I like how justifications for fundamental concepts are provided. One of the better modifications of the book was moving the relevant mathematical reviews to the end of the chapters where they apply. I believe this was in the 8th edition (I...
Published on October 14, 2010 by bwelch

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, but takes a while to learn how to navigate
So if you're getting this book, here are somethings you will want to know.

1) Before reading the chapter, look at the end of the chapter, before and after the problem section for "Further Information" and the Math lesson supplement. You need not understand it off the bat, but be familiar with what is there so that when you're going through the chapter, you can...
Published 22 months ago by Raul


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Text Book I Own, February 9, 2014
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I was a chem major in undergrad so I have a lot of chem text books and this is by far my favorite one. Excellent explanations, easy to read, I use it now in my graduate work- it never leaves my side. Great reference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, amazing shipping!, November 13, 2012
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This review is from: Atkins' Physical Chemistry (Paperback)
This is an absolutely excellent text that certainly meets my expectations for the topic - physical chem. Further, the shipping was done overnight apparently, from the US no less! There aren't too many choices in this particular field (versus organic chem., for example) but fortunately, this text is well written at an appropriate level. And you can't mistake the position of P. W. Atkins in the field.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for class, but not independent learning., July 14, 2005
By 
10/6 (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physical Chemistry (Hardcover)
The 7th edition of this textbook is a more than adequate introduction to physical chemistry, but contains many chapters beyond this basic level that are inadequate at best, including those on quantum chemistry and kinetics.

Included in the appendices are reviews of basic (high school) math and physics principles necessary for comprehension of the material, as well as an impressive Data section containing a plethora of tables covering a wide range of topics. However, a lack of depth, clarity, and mathematical rigour make for a frustrating experience for the independent student.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to Follow, August 19, 2000
The lack of mathematical derivation of therodynamic relationships make this text very difficult to follow. The author had inadvertently and audaciously assume students can derive and master all the mathematics behind these therodynamic relations. As a reulst, students are forced to memorize these relations and play with the mathematical statements WITHOUT knowing the physical interpretation pertaining physical chemistry. The sections on solutions and mixtures are extremely poor-organized and difficult to comprehend. Aside from the content of the text, the small weird print is just too annoying and the price is ridiculously high. Not recommended.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's face it: Everyone doesn't like Pchem..., November 17, 2000
By 
Les Kismartoni (Park Ridge, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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So how am I going to review this book and justify the above statement? Good question, let me get started... Most people have a difficult time with pchem and sometimes the book and the teacher can really make the difference in knowing or not knowing the material... Assuming a decent teacher (most pchem guys are sort of out of it and wierd...) then it is really up to the book to provide a basis for understanding the material. Atkins presents A LOT of stuff... This book is very encyclopedic, and that can be good in the sense that when you need a quick explanation it is there. I agree that Atkins can sometimes jump into the math a bit quick, and that is where a book like Barante "Applied Math for Chemists" really shines through... A book that is more "readable" is Levine so the two can really go hand in hand. The best part about Atkins is the problems section. Many gripe that it is "unintelligible" but the truth is that it prepares the student for the real world. My best advice is to buy BOTH solutions manuals, try the problems, then look up the answers... What else can I say??? Most important parts of chemistry are presented in a rigorous manner here and this is a wonderful reference book for that reason.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My faithful friend throughout my time at Cambridge, April 8, 2001
By A Customer
Some of criticisms fired at this book are hard to understand, particularly the complaints that the math is too hard to follow. There's nothing that goes far beyond British high school (A-level) maths here and if you don't already know how to integrate 1/x you really shouldn't be studying subjects like thermodynamics that can only be properly understood at a quantitative level. Inevitably with so much crammed into a single volume some of the chapters lack depth, but it almost always gives a good foundation for further reading on everything from diffraction to colloids, while the thermodynamics chapters provide everything an undergraduate needs to know. Atkins was my faithful friend throughout my time at Cambridge and helped me get a Double First.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality binding and Poor quality derivations., November 15, 2006
This review is from: Physical Chemistry (Hardcover)
Of the 18 students in my physical chemistry course, at least 6 have lost their covers entirely. This is less than 3 months after the publication of the text. In addition the quality of the derivations, while somewhat better than the 7th edition, are oftentimes difficult to follow, Steps are skipped and it is often assumed that students are not only familiar with mathematical concepts beyond the scope of the course, but that they have the ability to apply these same advanced mathematical abilities to new concepts. In addition many of the problems require you to look up values from non related sources such as the CRC. The solutions manuals have numerous faults and oftentimes use entirely different methods of solving problems than are presented in the chapters. Yes physical chemistry is a very difficult subject, that is expected, however we can at least ask that the covers remain on our texts.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Example Problems Please, September 13, 2009
This review is from: Physical Chemistry (Paperback)
This book covers basic physical chemistry well as far as I can tell. I am a college junior taking 1st semester p. chem. The problem with this book is the complete lack of any example problems in the text. Doing any but the most basic of the questions in the problems section at the back is a horrendous expierience. Now, I know that there should be difficulty but this is ridiculous. A few well placed sample problems worked out in the text would provide the student with an opportunity to learn the process of approaching these problems. Instead we just get a bunch of text, pictures and formulas and are told to solve problems. Solving is a process and this book does not provide it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not written very well, July 5, 2000
By 
tiff (the University of Colorado) - See all my reviews
When I was studying physical chemistry, I did not enjoy reading this book. Instead I went to my school library in order to check out other physical chemistry books which explained the material in a more concise, coherent manner. Problems with the book include the fact that: (1) the print is small, (2) the author does not use boldface terms in order to distinguish those equations and ideas which are important and (3) the author repeats certain ideas far too often while failing to address others. I hope that a new book will be used next semester.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What the professor ordered, October 29, 2013
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As we all know you don't choose your textbooks. Atkins seems rather ubiquitous in the northwest and it's okay as text books go. Some of the figures are rather confusing and it seems to enjoy rather odd variable substitution at times. That said, the general layout is good and the "mathematical backgrounds" are very helpful with remembering or learning advanced calculus methods.
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Atkins' Physical Chemistry
Atkins' Physical Chemistry by Julio de Paula Peter Atkins (Paperback - November 19, 2009)
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