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The book also uses problems to encourage the use of an invaluable National Institute of Science and Technology NIST website that lists experimental data and the results of various ab initio calculations for hundreds of molecules.
Other changes include the discussion of molecular spectroscopy throughout the chapters on the harmonic oscillator and the rigid-rotator. The hydrogen atom, along with its electronic spectroscopy, is discussed in a separate chapter.
And in the following chapter, which is devoted entirely to multielectron atoms, a website for Hartree-Fock atomic orbitals is introduced. After learning the structure of these atomic orbitals, they are used to calculate atomic properties for multielectron atoms.
About the Author: As the author of landmark chemistry books and textbooks, Donald McQuarrie's name is synonymous with excellence in chemical education. From his classic text on Statistical Mechanics to his recent quantum-first tour de force on Phys ical Chemistry, McQuarrie's best selling textbooks are highly acclaimed by the chemistry community.
Each chapter includes a broad range of problems and exercises.
Art from the book is available for download into lecture slides by adopting professors. This structure derives from the classic textbooks such as Physical Chemistry by Alberty and Silbey, which traces its origin to the Outline of Theoretical Chemistry written by Herbert Getman in when thermodynamics was the core of physical chemistry and quantum mechanics was in its infancy.
Occasional authors have tried to deviate from this orthodoxy. I learned my undergraduate physical chemistry from the solid textbook written in by a University of Washington team: Eggers, Gregory, Halsey, and Rabinovitch.
That text opens with quantum mechanics, as does the elegant and sophisticated book by Berry, Rice, and Ross. None of these books has been very successful, however, partly because they challenge tradition in a pedagogically conservative profession.
McQuarrie and Simon are the latest authors to write a book that recognizes that modern physical chemistry is based on quantum mechanics and that it makes pedagogical sense to begin with the atomic and molecular perspective and use it to build a firm understanding of macroscopic phenomena.
The result is impressive. The first half of the book, 15 chapters and approximately pages, develops a modern perspective on quantum mechanics and its applications including NMR, computational quantum chemistry, and lasers and laser spectroscopy. Chapter 1 is the customary historical introduction, which unfortunately repeats many of the errors of textbook histories.
That quibble aside, the material is developed carefully and systematically, beginning with a consideration of classical waves.
The prose is clean and serviceable though not inspired , and the book is well illustrated with appropriate diagrams and graphs. I only wish the publisher had used heavier paper so the type on the reverse side of the page could not be seen.
All teachers of physical chemistry struggle with mathematics. Many students have either forgotten or never learned the necessary mathematical concepts and techniques.
The MathChapters appear immediately before they are needed to develop the scientific topic. Both students and faculty should find these chapters helpful.
Following the extensive development of quantum chemistry is a nice chapter on the properties of gases. I was pleased to see discussions of both the Redlich—Kwong equation the best two-parameter equation of state for real gases and the relationship of the second virial coefficient to intermolecular forces. Thermodynamics is then developed from a molecular perspective beginning with the Boltzmann factor and partition functions.
In the subsequent exposition of classical thermodynamics the authors effectively use the molecular basis they have developed.