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Chemical Applications of Group Theory, 3rd Edition Hardcover – March 2, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0471510949 ISBN-10: 0471510947 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Interscience; 3 edition (March 2, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471510947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471510949
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

So I have to say it is an excellent book for those prepared and a very poor book for those who aren't.
Roger Bagula
The book shouldn't be used as a stand-alone text for a group-theory class; it lacks detailed development for many important ideas.
"smm22@psu.edu"
Professor Cotton's book is a well written introduction to the theory of group representations for chemists.
Timothy Hughbanks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on March 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So if you are a mathematician or a physicist, don't whine if this book isn't for you. It's for chemists, specifically inorganic ones, who use group theory to analyze ligand chemistry and spectroscopic measurements. It is also useful for those who utilize computational chemistry programs like Gaussian and need to know the basics of orbital and molecular symmetry.

This book contains only point group symmetry and none of the SO, SU, U, etc. groups used in physics. There is also no coverage of Lie algebras.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Hughbanks on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Professor Cotton's book is a well written introduction to the theory of group representations for chemists. It is appropriate for chemical experimentalists and beginners with a more thoeretical bent. It was NOT INTENDED to be a book of algebra for mathematicians or physicists interested in Lie groups. The pure rotation group is not covered, representations of space groups are not mentioned, ray representations are not used, etc. Many of the reviewers below seem to think they will need one and only one book that deals with applications of group theory - not likely! For a beginner with a background typical of a 1st year grad student in physical or inorganic chemistry at an American university, the book is good. If the complainers below ever tried to teach a course to such students using the more rigorous books they are clamoring for, they would be hung in effigy (if they were lucky).
However, even for the intended audience, there are things that could be improved. Most glaring in my opinion is the treatment of electronic states, as opposed to orbitals. Even "mathematically-challenged chemists" have to face up to Slater determinants as basis functions for multi-electron wavefunctions. The spectroscopy and ligand-field theory topics are obscure if you don't introduce this concept. Symmetry with respect to interchange of particle labels is not that difficult to teach, and is essential for understanding the symmetry requirements that must be placed on electronic and vibrational wave functions.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Cotton's text is infamous for its ease of use and many practical examples. It is ideal for the undergraduate or the chemist who needs only a cursory understanding of group theory. It will get one through the basics, but for serious students, the references contained therein are invaluable.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A.Reader1 on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I used an earlier edition of this book for symmetry/group theory and couldn't figure out what the heck was going on! Fortunately, there are lots of good alternatives:

1. "Molecular Symmetry and Group Theory: A Programmed Introduction to Chemical Applications" by Alan Vincent. This one is Excellent. It takes you by the hand and gives you a tutorial!

2. "Group Theory for Chemists" by George Davidson. Out-of-print now but look for it used.

3. "Molecular Symmetry and Group Theory" by Robert L. Carter, ISBN 0471149551

4. "Group Theory and Chemistry" by David M. Bishop. inexpensive.

5. "Introduction to Molecular Symmetry" (Oxford Chemistry Primers) by J. S. Ogden. inexpensive

Also look at chapter 1 of "Symmetry and Spectroscopy: An Introduction to Vibrational and Electronic Spectroscopy" by Daniel C. Harris & Michael D. Bertolucci

For a very nice overview try "Symmetry through the Eyes of a Chemist" by István Hargittai & Magdolna Hargittai

P.S. For a similar book to Vincent's try "Beginning Group Theory for Chemistry" by Paul H. Walton. It's meant to be written in (pencil!).

Look at my other reviews for other chemistry books.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roger Bagula on November 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in 1965 as a freshman in Chemistry

at UCLA. I had no background in group theory or representation

of groups by characters. It started me on a life long study of groups,

but the wrong way. For someone without the necessary mathematics background

this book is actually harmful.

I think a course in modern algebra should be necessary

to reading this book. In 1965 an understanding of Calculus

wasn't enough even with a little Boolean algebra mixed in.

It came down to us using the book like a recipe book

for the mathematics, following many of the operating blindly.

But I have to say that over the years I have learned more about groups

and that the approach here has grown in my respect with that study.

So I have to say it is an excellent book

for those prepared

and a very poor book for those who aren't.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By dogsNrodents on May 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a double edged sword. As a reference textbook for a person who has already had a significant introduction to group theory and chemical applications of it, this book can't be beat. It provides some very detailed mathematical derivations of the theoretical formulas used within group theory which one may not find in an elementary inorganic text which skims over group theory. Additionally, Cotton covers organic, organometallic and inorganic examples which allows the reader to have a broad spectrum of systems to learn from. The blurbs about molecular vibrations and crystallography were nice too. Finally, Cotton does not lack in providing journal references to the original research that he covers in the text.
In lieu of all that, this book is a bain to use in order to learn the principles of group theory. Cotton, in his typical fashion, assumes that the reader is well-versed in linear/matrix algebra (and has a very condescending comment for anyone who MIGHT have to read the matrix algebra appendix he has in the back of the text) and that the reader can visualize symmetry operations readily in their head. There are places in the text where he should go into more detail and provide further examples, but he does not. Lastly, anyone who knows anything about group theory knows that it is a pretty dry subject matter. Cotton doesn't enhance the excitement of learning group theory with his dry, humor-less approach to writing the text (not to mention that this 3rd edition is already overdue for another overhauling being over a decade old!). In case you have insomnia while taking your group theory course, attempt to read a full chapter in one sitting, you'll be out cold by the second paragraph!
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