Physical Chemistry for Beginners

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    IN a preface written by Prof. J. H. van't Hoff the object of this work is stated to be the presentation of physical chemistry to medical students in such a fashion as to avoid putting their physical and mathematical accomplishments to too severe a proof. The fundamental laws of combination are dealt with concisely and clearly, prominence being given to the experimental basis for each law. Chemical formulæ, however, are introduced so abruptly into the second chapter, that it is clearly the author's intention that the remarks given are to be considered as supplementary only, either to lectures or a text-book of systematic chemistry. The succeeding chapters deal with the behaviour of gases, thermochemistry, solutions, photo-chemistry, and the periodic system. In the chapter on the properties of gases, normal temperature and pressure are defined as 15°C. and 760 mm. of mercury, although later on in the same chapter the more usual 0° C. and 760 mm. are frequently used. The definition of atomic weight as obtainable from the experimental results is very clearly stated, an uncommon feature in an elementary text-book. The section dealing with thermo-chemistry occupies one-half of the whole book. It contains a full account of thermochemical notation, a selection of the more important data, and an elementary discussion of the law of maximum work. Chemical equilibrium and dissociation are also dealt with, the treatment being non-mathematical, and bearing evidence of the influence of van' Hoff. The book as a whole forms an admirable introduction to general chemistry; the student who has mastered its contents will have nothing to unlearn, and will be able to proceed at once to the larger text-books of Ostwald and van'Hoff.

    Physical Chemistry for Beginners.

    By Ch. M. van Deventer. Translated by R. A. Lehfeldt. Pp. xvi + 146. (London: Arnold.)

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    Physical Chemistry for Beginners. Nature 59, 413–414 (1899) doi:10.1038/059413b0

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