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Physical Chemistry, Second Edition Hardcover – April 4, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0125083454 ISBN-10: 0125083459 Edition: 2nd

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the first edition: "[T]his text has all the necessary ingredients to be used for a two-semester undergraduate physical chemistry course.... Anyone teaching physical chemistry will want to have a copy of this book as a reference. Professors will find the figures and problems to be particularly useful." --Journal of Chemical Education

"Robert Mortimer's book provides an in-depth and clear presentation of the subject. The chapter problems and examples are useful in giving students exercise in what they have read." --David Lawson, University of Michigan-Dearborn

"This text is my new favorite thermo/kinetics book. It presents both the concepts and relevant equations in a clear, understandable fashion and moves easily from basic or review concepts to more advanced topics." --Cynthia M. Woodbridge, Hillsdale College

"Mortimer's Physical Chemistry textbook is well written, complete, and it will be easily read by students and instructors. The material covered is current and concise, and the in-chapter and end-of-chapter problems enhance the students' learning experience. I recommend this book." --Jason D. Hofstein, Siena College --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

This is the textbook that I would like to have if I were now an undergraduate student of physical chemistry. It tries to satisfy the need of a careful student who wants to ask "where does that equation of that concept come from?" The book emphasizes the development of the applications of physical chemistry from fundamental principles and postulates. This is a textbook for a standard two-semester physical chemistry course for chemists and chemical engineers in the junior or senior year. It offers an approach that is slightly different from other textbooks for this course in that it begins with carefully stated fundamental principles and carefully presents the applications of these principles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1116 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 2 edition (April 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0125083459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0125083454
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,497,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

1.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book seems to have passed through the editing stage without actually being edited. There are at least 4-5 typos in each chapter. It takes longer to figure out what the questions are asking than it does to actually do the questions. Whoever solved the problems and put answers in the back did the majority of them incorrectly, because the answers are wrong. In the chapters themselves, the wording is unclear and confusing. I would highly recommmend checking out other P-Chem books before purchasing this one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Miller on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
First, this book is almost no help to me at all besides the referencing of equations. The explanations are not helpful and there are typos in each chapter. Mortimer has a knack for making even the simplest concepts difficult to understand with the way he writes. Some of the examples are helpful, but these are few. The book mainly does derivations of equations.

I am taking an inorganic chemistry class at the same time as this physical chemistry class. Sometimes when I read my inorganic chemistry book, it explains some of the physical chemistry topics better than the physical chemistry book itself. I think that's pretty sad. Or I can go online, and it's often easier to find an online article explaining a concept well, rather than trying to understand the poorly worded explanations in this book.

The only positive thing about this book that I can think of is that it seems to be very inclusive of a wide number of concepts and equations, and could make an okay reference book. However, there are often equations with typos in them. For example, one equation had some variables raised to the 1/2 power. Right beneath that, there was an example using the very same equation with the variables raised to the 3/2 power, not 1/2. Obviously a typo. Just one of many. Up till I had this book, I had always understood, or at least partially understood all the chemistry textbooks I've read. Like the title of this review says, this is honestly the worst chem textbook I've ever had.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Guy F. Airey on February 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Robert Mortimer's attempt at which students "first have the opportunity to synthesize what they have learned in math, physics, and chemistry course into a coherent pattern of knowledge" (the author's very own words) is a complete disaster in this book. On page 595, I quit counting the errors in math and typos because there were just too many...and the book has over 1100 pages! You have to double check almost every thing you read, because the mistakes are so numberous it becomes a futile exercise in disbelief. This book is a nightmare. The author bounces literally all over topics, almost as though he is randomly spouting out lines and titles to impress you, instead of following a schedule or format of anything. This random topic technique selection is often used by those who just do not know their subject matter that well, and I am sorry to say, but this book just is not good. He may well be the smartest chemist on planet earth, but if the book is the best he can do, then I doubt it. But what he forgets, is that anyone taking P-Chem is wise to this. P-Chem guys are the top of the top, and they can see through this fog of tarmac. In graduate schoool, my advanced Physical Chemistry book was almost as bad as this one, so I used two other ones, one by Arno L. to be precise. The thing is that, physical chemistry can be one of the best courses and subjects in the entire spectrum of science. It is challenging, everyone knows this. But the subject is for those top students of the field anyway, and they should love it. Physical chemistry if done correctly, will win over students and make them into specialists not often found in other majors. Remember, this is probably the most difficult title in chemistry, and you need a good text to guide you along.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chemical engineering student on February 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have just seen that fate is cruel enough to allow a new edition of Mortimer to be used on unsuspecting students and instructors. I am writing this to urgently warn people not to adopt this book and to reinforce the other disapproving reviews before mine.

How do I begin a review of such a terrible textbook, easily the worst that I have ever read during my college years. First, I want to say that I like physical chemistry a lot, so it is not the subject matter that bothers me. The reviewers before me are right on the money. Everything about this book is sloppy, uninspired, and downright dreadful. Anybody who says that this book is good is either seriously delusional or is a lying sack of s***.

The thing that bothers me most is that Mortimer seems to always choose the most non-intuitive, the most complicated method to explain concepts. For example, when he explains the Second Law, he talks in some detail about Pfaffian forms, as if the students are expected to understand that level of mathematics. Are you kidding me? Even high-level thermo texts like Denbigh and Callen shy away from that approach.

I eventually borrowed other physical chemisty books from the library and read them instead, and I promptly sold away Mortimer after p-chem was over. I strongly suggest other students who are forced to use this book to do the same. To the instructors: please save students the money of buying this trash.
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