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Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics (Dover Books on Chemistry)

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486453347
ISBN-10: 0486453340
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chairman, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Chemistry
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (November 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486453340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486453347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Raman on December 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Chemical kinetics and reaction dynamics are not easy subjects, demanding quite a lot of physics in some complicated settings. Thus, it is all the more impressive that Paul Houston has managed to write this extraordinarily clear and concise text that is accessible to an advanced undergraduate.

Do not get me wrong; the prerequisites for this book are extensive. A good grasp of basic newtonian mechanics, quantum mechanics, spectroscopy, and statistical thermodynamics are musts. But nothing is needed beyond what can be expected from a good, stiff one-year course in physical chemistry.

From the first chapter on the kinetic theory of gases, Houston's focus on the physics - on keeping derivations short and clear, on connecting formulae with sound physical intuition - is striking. It does not lag as the book goes on. Houston continues with a clean exposition of empirical chemical kinetics and how to integrate and/or simplify the resulting differential equations. The grungy business of theoretical kinetics - how to kludge your way to a theoretical gas-phase reaction rate constant - is well treated after that. In the third chapter, Houston delivers an elegant and unified flux-driven treatment of transport phenomena. He gets the basic equations correct up to a numerical factor with a minimum of effort. This is beautiful; I wish chemical engineers would read this before beginning their own transport travails! There are then several chapters on the chemistry of more complicated systems, like solution-phase, solid surface-phase, and photochemical reactions. While I haven't read these, I am sure they are wonderful. The high point, in my opinion, is the final chapter on reaction dynamics. Its ongoing tacit motivation is the question, "How does a hydrogen fluoride laser work?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a very thorough introduction to chemical kinetics at an almost rigorous level. The mathematical derivations are given direct physical interpretations (something that is missing in many physical chemistry books) that are on par with physics books. Its introduction states that a full year of calculus is all that is required. I totally disagree. At the very least, the math requirements are multivariable calculus (double and triple integration appear through out the text; vector calculus {gradient , divergence, & laplacian}; partial derivatives), methods of approximation (power series & Taylor expansions), & working knowledge of ordinary & partial differential (Fick's second law of diffusion) equations are helpful in understanding how the solutions are determined. Moreover, the homework exercises present problems where Laplace transforms (small section is provided for Laplace transforms) are needed to solve the D.E.'s and P.D.E.'s. What is most surprising is that from the first page the author directly dives into kinetics with clear & precise definitions without getting sidetracked or giving any unwanted wordiness or jargon. In no way is this book what I call difficult but very accessible. The author never makes any of the subjects more difficult than they have to be in understanding the material. Mr. Houston's book stays focused to kinetics and its outcome is a book with few pages but dense & rich with material, a welcomed addition for anyone in the fields of theoretical, physical chemistry, or chemical physics. In addition, a plethora of homework problems are presented. However, it has been difficult to find the solutions manual for the problems in the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been using this textbook for a first-year graduate course in kinetics for about two months, and find it mostly lacking. For an introductory undergraduate course, this book may suffice. It has a fairly cursory introduction of rate laws and Michaelis-Menten with a depressingly brief excursion into activated complex theory, but in my opinion, McQuarrie's few chapters on kinetics do a much better job developing the formalism. Everything else in the book is really outdated.
The notation is also confusing--for example, they use primed variables quite a bit (instead of, say, tildes), which to me signifies a derivative quantity. The chapters in general do not do a great job of preparing you for the end-of-chapter problems, which are far more about algebra than kinetics. All in all, did not terribly enjoy learning from this textbook.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was in used condition; not too heavily, but certainly used. I would not call this condition Very Good. Disappointing.

The book itself is quite good for an introduction to chemical kinetics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is good, but it is not organized/formatted well, so it was difficult to follow sometimes. Note that this book is paperback and black and white pages.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great job in covering most of the fundamentals of diverse areas of chemical kinetics in such small pages! Would have given five stars only if it discussed molecular reaction dynamics in a bit more detail.
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I bought this book as a supplement to the primary text for a chemical kinetics course. I have found it to be incredibly helpful. The explanations are clear and concise.
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