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Seeking recommendation for rigorous general chemistry textbook

  1. Nov 22, 2009 #1
    Title says it all.

    But to further elaborate... it's been about 12 years since I had general chemistry, I don't remember any of it, and would like to pick up a textbook to refresh my knowledge. I majored in math and physics, so I would prefer the book not to dodge the use of, say, calculus, other 'higher mathematics', introductory QM, or thermo, if it would be useful giving a rigorous presentation of the material.

    A little research has lead to the books Chemical Principles by Atkins and Principles of Modern Chemistry by Oxtoby. Which would be more appropriate for my situation? Or are there other books better suited to me? Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2009 #2
    Ok, maybe my question was a bit too general and/or vague.

    The reviews on amazon.com for those two books are quite mixed, and some are irrelevant. Does anyone here have anything good or bad to say about either of them? If you have used either in the past, would you recommend it?
  4. Nov 22, 2009 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  5. Nov 27, 2009 #4
    You're in a weird situation. You should get Physical Chemistry by Atkins or Physical Chemistry by McQuarrie. Those are books appropriate for junior/senior courses that use multivariable calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, group theory, etc. On the other hand, I would then recommend you pick up a separate book on analytical chemistry to get the introduction to acid/base equilibria and gravimetric methods among other things. There's a Schaum's Outline of Analytical Chemistry.

    Alternatively, you can pick up either of those books you mentioned, I would lean towards Oxtoby, and get the full freshman chemistry curriculum, but you won't get any math above algebra being used.
  6. Nov 27, 2009 #5
    Oxtoby! Especially if you're more inclined to appreciate the physics behind the chemistry
  7. Dec 2, 2009 #6
    Sorry if I'm late, but Linus Pauling's General Chemistry is a wonderful (albeit old) text.
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