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Physical Chemistry for the Chemical and Biological Sciences

Raymond Chang Williams College


This book is intended for use in a one-semester or a full-year course in physical chemistry at the junior level by chemistry majors as well as students in the biological sciences.  Most students enrolled in such a course have taken general chemistry, organic chemistry, and a year each of physics and calculus.  In writing this completely revised edition, I have retained the original aim of placing emphasis on understanding the physical concepts rather than on precise mathematical development or on actual experimental detail.  The principles of physical chemistry are presented from the viewpoint of their applications to chemical and biochemical systems. 

The first two editions of this book were published under the title Physical Chemistry with Applications to Biological Systems  (MacMillan Publishing Company, New York).  In this edition, Physical Chemistry for the Chemical and Biological Sciences, I have added a number of new topics and expanded many others to broaden the book’s appeal.  The major features of this edition are summarized below. 

  • Most chapters have been rewritten and reorganized.  Chapters on solid state and liquid state have been moved to the back of the text (Chapters 20 and 21).  The treatment of thermodynamics has been expanded to three chapters (Chapters 4, 5, and 6).  A new chapter on statistical thermodynamics (Chapter 23) has been added. 
  • The number of end-of-chapter problems has been increased to about 1,000.  These problems are arranged according to topics in each chapter.  The Additional Problems section contains more challenging problems.  Answers to even-numbered computational problems are provided at the end of the book. 
  • The artwork has been completely redone.  The addition of a second color (red) allows for easier interpretation of plots and the more elaborate diagrams and adds a pleasing look to the book.. 
  • The list of Key Equations at the end of each chapter provides a quick overview of the major equations presented in that chapter. 
  • A glossary has been added. 

I have expended considerable effort to make this a readable and student-oriented text.  More chapter appendices have been added to provide mathematical derivations of equations and/or extensions of material discussed in the chapters.  The Suggestions for Further Reading section provides extensive references to easily accessible journals and articles that are appropriate for this level. 

An accompanying Solutions Manual, written by Helen Leung and Mark D. Marshall, provides complete solutions to all of the problems in the text.  This supplement contains many useful ideas and insights into problem-solving techniques. 

It is a pleasure to thank the following people who provided helpful comments and suggestions for this edition: Robert Blankenship (Arizona State University), Victor Bloomfield (University of Minnesota), L. D. Burtnick (University of British Columbia), Alan Campion (University of Texas at Austin), Jim Davis (Harvard University), Roger DeKock (Calvin College),  Darryl G. Howery (Brooklyn College), Helen Leung (Mount Holyoke College), Charles M. Lovett, Jr. (Williams College), John Santa Lucia, Jr. (Wayne State University), Anne B. McCoy (Ohio State University),  Mark D. Marshall (Amherst College), John Parson (Ohio State University), Lee Y. Park (Williams College), David Richardson (Williams College), Rod Schoonover (Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo), and John W. Thoman, Jr. (Williams College).  My appreciation also goes to Anne McCoy and Jim Davis for class testing the early drafts of the book. 

I also thank my publisher, Bruce Armbruster, for encouraging me to undertake this project and for his support, Kathy Armbruster for her assistance in general, Susanna Tadlock for expertly supervising the production, Bob Ishi for his functional and tasteful design, Ann McGuire for a meticulous job of copyediting, John and Judy Waller for their effective and pleasing illustrations, and Judith Kromm for her input that greatly improved the clarity of the text.  Finally, my special thanks go to Jane Ellis for her enthusiasm, encouragement, and supervision at every stage of the writing of this edition. 

Raymond Chang 
Williamstown, Massachusetts