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Help a Physics grad read up on Chemistry

  1. Apr 1, 2013 #1
    Hi all,

    I am a grad student with a Physics BSc. For various reasons, I have never actually done a basic pure chemistry course, even at high school level. Naturally, I have come across many concepts from chemistry in my courses, but I lack the fundamental overview of the field, and I am very shaky on many of the basic terms and concepts. I therefore decided that I need to look into basic [sic] chemistry. I'm hoping that someone here might be of assistance in deciding on some learning materials.

    I am hoping to find something else than a standard chemistry undergraduate book. As a grad student, I don't have oceans of time to devote to this (sadly), but I'm not looking for anything sugarcoated that risks going on behalf of scientific accuracy either. Ideally, a short, well written book introducing the fundamental concepts would be great (asking quite a lot here, I know).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks a bunch
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2013 #2
  4. Apr 1, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    couple of Atkins' texts

    A calculus based honors introduction to chemistry: Chemical Principles and the upper division Molecular Quantum Mechanics are up-to-date and worth looking at. Neither is short but they don't sugar coat and you can skip around.
  5. Apr 1, 2013 #4
    As a former student of chemistry who switched to physics, I second this. I consider it the Halliday-Resnick of chemistry.
  6. Apr 4, 2013 #5
    Thanks a lot guys, excellent advice. I've ordered the Pauling book and will have a look at the other ones in the library.
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