The latest authors, like the most ancient, strove to subordinate the phenomena of nature to the laws of mathematics Isaac Newton, 1647–1727 The approach quoted above has been adopted and practiced by many teachers of chemistry. Today, physical chemistry textbooks are written for science and engineering majors who possess an interest in and aptitude for mathematics.No knowledge of chemistry or biology (not to mention poetry) is required. To me this sounds like a well-de?ned prescription for limiting the readership to a few and carefully selected. I think the importance of physical chemistry goes beyond this precept. The s- ject should bene?t both the science and engineering majors and those of us who dare to ask questions about the world around us. Numerical mathematics, or a way of thinking in mathematical formulas and numbers – which we all practice, when paying in cash or doing our tax forms – is important but should not be used to subordinate the in?nitely rich world of physical chemistry.
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From the reviews:
“The book is very well conceived and is written in a quite appealing conversational prose; it should be a primer for all chemistry students. ... Ilich uses what he calls ‘little big tricks’ to remove roadblocks to the solution of each problem utilizing basic mathematics that all college science students understand. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduate chemistry students.” (K. Bennett, Choice, Vol. 48 (9), May, 2011)
“This book starts from the premise that existing physical chemistry textbooks have a limited readership due to being written for those students who have ‘an interest in and aptitude for mathematics’. The author seeks to redress this balance by providing detailed solutions to a number of problems which go rather beyond providing just a mathematical solution. ... this book is a useful addition to the repertoire of tools available to those who are both studying and teaching physical chemistry.” (Paul Yates, Education in Chemistry, March, 2011)
“For my students, this is a potentially very valuable guide; for me, it is a quite nice collection of 50 problems of easy-to-medium difficulty that could be used in most physical chemistry courses. ... The exercises are related to real-world situations or to phenomena most often treated in other branches of the chemistry curriculum. Detailed solutions are provided for each problem in an avuncular, conversational style. ... I find much to like in this book.” (Hal H. Harris, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 88, 2011)
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