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Physical Chemistry 3rd Edition

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471383116
ISBN-10: 0471383112
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 980 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (July 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471383112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471383116
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Harder on October 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have taken a course in P Chem + some stat mech and thermo + I have worked as a biophysical chemist. I am now trying to tutor 3rd year undergrads in a course that uses this book. Unlike some of the reviewers of an earlier edition, I don't think the level of mathematical knowledge and sophistication is too great, although it would help if there was more review of concepts in multivariable calculus, linear algebra and diff eqns. But these are not my problems, and I have had no problem explaining them to my students. What has been a major problem for both them and myself has been following the authors' narrative. Almost no motivation is presented. The book often reads like an advanced graduate-level math textbook consisting entirely of definitions, lemmas, and proofs. Worse, the arguments wander back and forth, jumping from concept to seemingly unrelated concept and back again. Future chapters are referred to often. I feel like a dog chasing its own tail much of the time. For a book that promises an emphasis on physical concepts over mathematical structure, it obscures concepts under a fog of other physical arguments. To take one example, sometimes it reverts to the use of the ideal gas to derive an identity that applies tho that simple system, but fails to generalize the argument to realistic situations, leaving the reader to wonder whether the identities just derived are applicable to subsequent discussions, or worse yet, to homework and exams. I can't judge the presentation of Quantum and Stat mechanics, but I fear the prospect of using this as a text. My recommendation for using this text to learn thermo is to do the problems in the back - thankfully some answers are provided, although the answers are not always cogent - then backtrack to understand them. Please, lecturers, find something better.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent text for serious and independent students of physical chemistry looking for interactive learning experiences. It is not for dabblers, but for the preparation of future practitioners in the field. The book maintains a balance between presenting the material in the text outright and asking the student to participate in his/her own understanding of physical chemical principles by a "discovering by doing" philosophy. If you cannot stand a "fill in the blanks" sort of Socratic method in a book, then this is probably not your cup of tea. But for people who want to thoroughly understand the material on a very detailed level, this is one of the best teaching techniques around. Having taken the course offered by Silbey and used this text for that undergraduate physical chemistry course, I can say that no other method serves the student as well in giving the student an opportunity for an intuitive understanding of the material. If you are serious about understanding this material beyond throwing down the equations and crunching the math, it will be well worth taking Silbey and Alberty's lead on this strong introduction and journey through PChem.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By gravenewworld on July 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book will not aid your study in P Chem. It will just confuse you further. What I find funny is the fact that the beginning of the book states that this book will make P chem accessible to anyone who has had a normal year of calculus and physics. First off, a normal year of calculus does not include partial differentiation, iterated integrals, and differential equations. If you have never studied those topics, which are usually studied in courses such as Calc 3 and Differential Equations, you will have an extremely hard time following the majority of the topics in this book. It is hilarious that Silbey and Alberty define and tell you what the delta symbol means in the beginning of chapter 2 but already assume you know what partial derivative is in chapter 1 when you are assumed to have a "normal year of calculus". I mean every sophmore in highschool knows that delta means "change in" or final minus initial. This book does not even have a periodic table, which is very perplexing. How can a chemistry text not have a periodic table. The text just has a listing of every element by atomic number, which is very annoying since most people are used to looking at a periodic table. Reading the text almost gives the impression that P Chem should only be understood and studied by an elite few who could actually understand the material. Alberty and Silbey talk way over your head and could explain things in a much simpler fashion like my P Chem professor did. The text bogs you down heavily in theory and in the end concepts are not clearly understood. I would definitely recommend to stay far away from this book and use an engineering text for thermodynamics, since they are much more concise and clear. For quantum mechanics there are many better physics texts out there that explain things simply to an undergraduate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Xiao Hu on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book does not contain enough details for self study. Within about 300 pages, it covers chemical engineerning thermadynamics. A proper treatment of this topic takes a lot more, and this is covered in sufficient details in two books by Moran and Sandler. However, this book is used by MIT and MIT offers a free on-line course for this with video lectures. Thanks MIT. The professors are excellent explaining the material. So, only with the help from the professors, I find some value in this book and thus the three star rating on an otherwise one star book.
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