Mathematics for Physical Chemistry, Fourth Edition
Book Preface
This book provides a survey of the mathematics needed for chemistry courses at the undergraduate level. In four decades of teaching general chemistry and physical chemistry, I have found that some students have not been introduced to all of the mathematics needed in these courses and that most students need some practice in applying their mathematical knowledge to chemical problems. I once asked a student if he remembered some topic from elementary calculus. He didn’t, but said, “They told me about it but didn’t tell me that I would ever have to use it.” The emphasis of this book is not on mathematical rigor, but on the use of the mathematics. I have tried to write all parts of this book so that they can be used for selfstudy by someone not familiar
with the material, although any book such as this cannot be a substitute for the traditional mathematics courses. I have tried to write the book with a problemsolving approach. Solved examples and exercises are interspersed throughout the chapters, and these form an important part of the presentations. As you study any topic in the book, you should follow the solution to each example and work each exercise as you come to it.
The book is constructed around a sequence of mathematical topics, with a gradual progression into more advanced material. Much of the material in the earlier chapters can be skipped if it is already sufficiently familiar to the reader. This edition is a revision of a third edition published by Elsevier/Academic Press in 2005. I have made those changes that seemed to improve the clarity and correctness of the presentations. Some of the examples, exercises, and problems have been modified, and some new ones have been added. A few of the chapters have been divided, and the sequence of chapters has been modified. I have continued to use a list of principal facts and ideas and a list of objectives at the beginning of each chapter but have removed the chapter summaries found in previous editions.
This book serves three functions:
1. a review of topics already studied and an introduction to new topics for those preparing for a course in physical chemistry,
2. a supplementary text to be used during a physical chemistry course, and
3. a reference book for advanced students and practicing chemists.
The Solutions Manual with solutions to nearly all of the exercises and problems can be found on the companion site at booksite.elsevier.com/9780124158092. I am pleased to acknowledge the cooperation and help of Linda VersteegBuschman, Jill Cetel, Beth Campbell, and their collaborators at Elsevier. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge the assistance of all those who helped with earlier editions of this book, and especially to thank my wife, Ann, for her patience, love, and forbearance.
Robert G. Mortimer
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