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New to physical chemistry, what is the best text to understand it?

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Twickel:
Hi
I was wondering from your experiences, which is the best text book for understanding physical chemistry concepts. Something that explains the concepts well and keeps the maths simple or explains the maths well in a simple way. Not just 50 derivations

Thanks

Any websites would also be nice. Thanks

SugarSkull:
I found Elements of Physical Chemistry by Peter Atkins and Julio dePaula extremely helpful during my undergraduate. It's the reduced form of their more comprehensive Physical Chemistry textbook, so a lot of the more technical or wordy bits are taken out. The derivations are mostly kept in seperate boxes so you can ignore them if you want.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Physical-Chemistry-Peter-Atkins/dp/0716773295/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334931565&sr=8-2

dipesh747:

--- Quote from: SugarSkull on April 20, 2012, 04:20:19 AM ---I found Elements of Physical Chemistry by Peter Atkins and Julio dePaula extremely helpful during my undergraduate. It's the reduced form of their more comprehensive Physical Chemistry textbook, so a lot of the more technical or wordy bits are taken out. The derivations are mostly kept in seperate boxes so you can ignore them if you want.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Physical-Chemistry-Peter-Atkins/dp/0716773295/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334931565&sr=8-2

--- End quote ---

Agreed, Atkins is by far the best physical chemistry book available for UG students.

The previous link was for an old edition. The newest edition is here http://www.amazon.com/Physical-Chemistry-Peter-Atkins/dp/1429218126/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334933390&sr=1-1

If you can wait before you buy it I remember my head of department telling me this year that a new edition would be coming out soon and it has been radically changed so its easier to understand by making topics more self contained. He didn't say when it was being released though, so if you don't need it right now, wait until you do to see if you can get the newest one.

Jorriss:
I don't like how physical chemistry is treated myself. Physical chemistry is composed of four major areas - kinetics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics and thermodynamics and each really needs its own text in the same way in upper division physics you get separate specialized books on classical mechanics, E&M, etc. There is no best text to understand physical chemistry in the same way there is no text to understand physics.

For the quantum aspects of physical chemistry, get a book like McQuarrie. Personally, I don't like it a ton but it's the standard though I feel one is better off with a pure quantum mechanics to start.

For thermodynamics, a book like Schroeder thermal physics is better than levine or atkins and has enough chemical applications.

For statistical mechanics get a book like McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics.

For kinetics, maybe Houston?

From what I've seen, most physical chemistry texts handle Thermodynamics alright but then collapse everywhere else.

fledarmus:
For thermodynamics, I actually got a lot more out of the fundamental chemical engineering texts than out of the physical chemistry texts. The approach was much better focused on things that could be seen and felt, which suited my way of learning. YMMV.

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