Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Looking for rigorous General Chemistry textbook

  1. Mar 14, 2015 #1
    I'm going to be tutoring next semester and I need a good general chemistry book to review. I used an old copy of zumdahl during general chemistry(not assigned text but worked fine) but I want a fresh look at the subject that is a little more rigorous mathematically especially. After a year of organic chemistry I must admit my general chemistry is a little weak despite having done well when I took the class so I'll have the summer to review it to be ready to tutor it next fall. I also plan to use this to help when I take physical chemistry a year from now.

    Thanks for any suggestions, if nothing else I'll just work through a few problem sets from my zumdahl text and go through the ACS general study guide. Though I do like the subject a lot so any good textbooks especially since my text is quite old would be nice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's not clear what you mean by wanting a chemistry text which is "a little more rigorous mathematically."

    If one is looking for mathematical rigor, I would suggest you consult a math text.

    If you are looking to brush up on your chemistry knowledge and skill at working out the solution to certain problems in chemistry, then there are texts which contain plenty of problems on which you can practice.

    Here is one such possibility:

  4. Mar 14, 2015 #3
    I guess I was wondering if their was a more serious chemistry text then the zumdahl which was a little on the easy side I felt. It was great for a first introduction though.

    I think your right that just working problems will be the quick way to get back up to speed, thanks for the text suggestion I think I will pick it up since its very cheap. If I do around 15 problems a day I should finish the book over the summer easily also.
  5. Mar 14, 2015 #4
    The Physical Chemistry textbook by Atkins might be what you are looking for.

    It does chemistry but starts out with thermodynamics, and works off from that. It still kind of starts at the basics, but has an approach very different from a real introductory chemistry text.

    Anyway, no chemistry book will be proof-based and mathematically rigorous in a way a physics book might be. It just becomes way too complex to derive the behavior of real molecules by solving Schrodinger's, and build the chemistry of a book on that. To do real chemistry one needs to lay down basic rules, for which it isn't shown how they are based on math and physics, and just accept these principles of chemistry.
  6. Mar 18, 2015 #5
    Why not find out what text the students will be using for homework problems? That way you'll be ready for whatever they throw at you
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook