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Physical Chemistry, 4th Edition

Robert J. Silbey, Robert A. Alberty, Moungi G. Bawendi

ISBN: 978-0-470-47300-9 October 2008 960 Pages

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A leading book for 80 years, Silbey & Alberty’s Physical Chemistry features exceptionally clear explanations of the concepts and methods of physical chemistry for students who have had a year of calculus and a year of physics. The basic theory of chemistry is presented from the viewpoint of academic physical chemists, but the many practical applications of physical chemistry are integrated throughout the text.  The problems in the text also reflect a skillful blend of theory and practical applications.

This text is ideally suited for a standard undergraduate physical chemistry course taken by chemistry, chemical engineering, and biochemistry majors in their junior or senior year. 

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1. Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics and Equations of State.

2. First Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Second and Third Laws of Thermodynamics.

4. Fundamental Equations of Thermodynamics.

5. Chemical Equilibrium.

6. Phase Equilibrium.

7. Electrochemical Equilibrium.

8. Thermodynamics of Biochemical Reactions.


9. Quantum Theory.

10. Atomic Structure.

11. Molecular Electronic Structure.

12. Symmetry.

13. Rotational and Vibrational Spectroscopy.

14. Electronic Spectroscopy of Molecules.

15. Magnetic Resonan ce Spectroscopy.

16. Statistical Mechanics.


17. Kinetic Theory of Gases.

18. Experimental Kinetics and Gas Reactions.

19. Chemical Dynamics and Photochemisty.

20. Kinetics in the Liquid Phase.


21. Macromolecules.

22. Electric and Magnetic Properties of Molecules.

23. Solid State Chemistry.

24. Surface Dynamics.

Appendix A: Physical Quantuties and Units.

Appendix B: Values of Physical Constants.

Appendix C: Tables of Physical Chemical Data.

Appendix D: Mathematical Relations.

Appendix E: Greek Alphabet.

Appendix F: Useful Information on the Web.

Appendix G: Symbols for Physical Quantities and Their SI Units.

Appendix H: Answers to the First Set of Problems.



  • Increased emphasis on the thermodynamics and kinetics of biochemical reactions including the denaturation of proteins and nucleic acids.
  • Expanded coverage of the uses of statistical mechanics, nuclear magnetic relaxation, nanoscience, and oscillating chemical reactions.
  • Problems requiring MATHEMATICA, MATHCAD, MATLAB, or MAPLE are integrated throughout the text.  These problems enhance understanding by enabling the student to visualize as well as to compute.  The use of these computer tools makes it possible to undertake problems that were previously too difficult or too time consuming, such as two- and three-dimensional plots, integration and differentiation of complicated functions, and solving differential equations.
  • “Key Ideas in This Chapter” sections highlight the main ideas and offer supporting statements.
  • Updated research examples are integrated throughout the text.
  • Extensive mathematical appendices are included.