What use is physical chemistry to the student of biochemistry and biology? This central question is answered in this book mainly through the use of worked examples and problems. The text is brief and concise. It starts by introducing the laws of thermodynamics, and then uses these laws to derive the equations relevant to the student in dealing with chemical equilibria (including the binding of small molecules to proteins), properties of solutions, acids and bases, and oxidation-reduction processes. The student is thus shown how a knowledge of thermodynamic qualities makes it possible to predict whether, and how, a reaction will proceed. Thermodynamics, however, gives no information about how fast a reaction will happen. The study of the rates at which processes occur (kinetics) forms the second main theme of the book. This section poses and answers questions such as `how is the rate of a reaction affected by temperature, pH, ionic strength, and the nature of the reactants? These same ideas are then shown to be useful in the study of enzyme-catalysed reactions. This book is intended for all undergraduates interested in biology and biochemistry.
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Nicholas C. Price is at I.L.B.S. Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Glasgow. Raymond A. Dwek is at Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.Review:
"Limiting themselves to areas that have direct application to biology, the authors of this textbook present information on the properties and reactions of chemical compounds at the level of atoms and molecules, explaining how these processes affect the character of the behavior of chemical systems in biological organisms. The material is divided into three sections that deal with the energy requirements of chemical processes, the rates at which processes occur, and how the atomic structures of molecules determine their chemical properties. The final section includes a discussion of molecular spectroscopy, exploring the way in which chemical compounds interact with electromagnetic radiation."--SciTech Book News
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