Chemistry Chemistry textbook for Physicists


Being a professional physicist(Quantum field theory and HS theory) I'd like to learn chemistry for some reasons. I've already tried to find a nice Chemistry textbook but failed to find physicist friendly one.

My last class on chemistry was in highschool like 11 years ago already, so my chemical background is pretty low unfortunately, but mathematical and physical are both good.

I am interested in General Chemistry with further possible digging into Theoretical Chemistry (if it exists, please excuse my ignorance)

Many thanks in advance

Dr Transport

Science Advisor
Gold Member
I retook general chemistry a few years ago and continued on with organic minus the lab (we needed a materials person and our resident chemist was frankly an idiot so as the only materials physicist in the group I took it upon myself to essentially work on a chemistry degree). We used McMurry

I liked it. I was heading towards more theoretical topics myself in chemistry when I left that company ~3 years ago.


Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
Most any typical General Chemistry book aimed at undergraduates should be fine for you. Some courses from your local community college would be more helpful because of laboratory exercises. Just General Chemistry may be insufficient for your goal, so maybe Quantitative and Inorganic textbooks, would be further materials to study.

A couple of authors of Gen Chem books were, Mortimer; and Petrucci. There may be others.
I would suggest skipping the gen chem and looking up physical chemistry texts. A lot of what is included is a more detailed presentation of general chemistry concepts, especially for things like activity coefficients. I brushed up on general chemistry when I taught the labs last year and most of it boils down to a course in how to use algebra to solve problems. The Silberberg text they used was pretty good. I'd go for the Atkins Physical Chemistry though.

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