What is the focus of Atkins' popular textbook in physical chemistry?

In summary: It has over 1800 articles on physical, chemical, and materials science topics.It looks like it would cover a lot of what you are looking for.
  • #1
chow_dhury
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TL;DR Summary
Why is it called "condensed" matter physics?
What exactly is condensed here?
 
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Welcome to PF.

The name "condensed matter physics" emphasized the commonality of scientific problems encountered by physicists working on solids, liquids, plasmas, and other complex matter, whereas "solid state physics" was often associated with restricted industrial applications of metals and semiconductors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condensed_matter_physics#Etymology
 
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  • #3
Baluncore said:
Welcome to PF.

The name "condensed matter physics" emphasized the commonality of scientific problems encountered by physicists working on solids, liquids, plasmas, and other complex matter, whereas "solid state physics" was often associated with restricted industrial applications of metals and semiconductors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condensed_matter_physics#Etymology
Doesn’t answer the question. Why condensed? What is condensed?
 
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“What is condensed matter physics? Condensed matter (once known as "solid state) is a branch of physics that deals with the properties of matter consisting of large numbers of particles (usually atoms or (electrons + the rest of the atoms)) in "condensed" states like liquids and solids - basically the materials that make up an awful lot of the stuff you interact with all the time.

From http://nanoscale.blogspot.com/2018/02/new-readers-what-is-condensed-matter.html
 
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chow_dhury said:
Doesn’t answer the question. Why condensed? What is condensed?
Matter.
 
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So say, fluid dynamics is part of condensed matter physics?
 
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Delta2 said:
So say, fluid dynamics is part of condensed matter physics?
There are forces between the molecules, so yes it is.
 
  • #8
Baluncore said:
There are forces between the molecules, so yes it is.
hm let us clarify something, condensed matter physics look what happens in the molecular/atomic level or they describe it macroscopically like for example with Navier-Stokes equations?
 
  • #9
Delta2 said:
hm let us clarify something, condensed matter physics look what happens in the molecular/atomic level or they describe it macroscopically like for example with Navier-Stokes equations?
I would say that it includes the macroscopic physical properties that influence flow, but not flow itself. It is not a well demarcated border.
 
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caz said:
I would say that it includes the macroscopic physical properties that influence flow, but not flow itself. It is not a well demarcated border.
So you saying that condensed matter physics can study properties like viscosity or density or pressure of a fluid but don't study how these properties influence the flow of a fluid?
 
  • #11
Delta2 said:
So you saying that condensed matter physics can study properties like viscosity or density or pressure of a fluid but don't study how these properties influence the flow of a fluid?
There is overlap, so it is a question of how one chooses to characterize the problem. It is not a clear boundary.
 
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  • #12
Sometimes the difference is merely what the scientist considers himself/herself or where the results are published.
 
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  • #13
I think "condensed" is related to "condensation" here, i.e. matter which is not in its gaseous state, but either liquid or solid.
 
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  • #14
Delta2 said:
So you saying that condensed matter physics can study properties like viscosity or density or pressure of a fluid but don't study how these properties influence the flow of a fluid?
This is simply a matter of history, not of rigid definition. It's nebulous and you're going to have to be comfortable with that. Fluid mechanics developed into its own domain, with its own tradition, so if you take a course or read a book on "condensed matter" it's not going to cover it. Same with thermodynamics, skipped, even though concepts from thermo and statistical mechanics are required to understand a lot of condensed matter.

The name "condensed matter" is just trying to expand its definition away from its origin of "solid state physics" which covers stuff like electronics and whose core is basically a deep physical description of materials - how do the electrons and phonons and nuclei etc. behave in (mainly crystalline) solids.

Notice condensed matter is also linked to chemistry, but there is so much of what a "chemist" studies that is not covered. But certain chemists do something that is similar to how physicists would approach problems, and they are called quantum chemists. Once you actually start doing research, nothing fits neatly into a box.
 
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  • #15
crashcat said:
so if you take a course or read a book on "condensed matter"
What does a typical course (or a typical book) on condensed matter covers? I am a mathematician and though there were many optional courses from the physics department during my undergraduate studies, I think I remember one with the name "Physics of Solid State" (direct translation from Greek) , -though I didn't take it- but none with Physics of Condensed matter.
 
  • #16
It seems to me that a physicist's "condensed matter", is a chemist's "physical chemistry".
 
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  • #17
Baluncore said:
It seems to me that a physicist's "condensed matter", is a chemist's "physical chemistry".
I don't think so. The physical chemistry books I have don't cover the topics of condensed matter physics.
 
  • #18
DrClaude said:
The physical chemistry books I have don't cover the topics of condensed matter physics.
Then you need to look at some other books. I agree, it is not a perfect 1:1 mapping.
Look at the Condensed Matter volume of the - Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology - Elsevier (2001)
 
  • #19
Baluncore said:
Then you need to look at some other books. I agree, it is not a perfect 1:1 mapping.
Look at the Condensed Matter volume of the - Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology - Elsevier (2001)
I see Chemical Physics in there, not physical chemistry (which is not the same thing).

One of the most popular textbook in physical chemistry is Atkins'. You can see the table of contents here:
https://books.google.se/books/about..._button&hl=en&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
You will find thermodynamics, statistical physics, chemical equilibrium and kinetics, even some quantum mechanics, but not much in terms of condensed matter physics.
 
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  • #20
Condensed matter physics and solid-state physics are fields of physical chemistry.
 
  • #21
DrClaude said:
One of the most popular textbook in physical chemistry is Atkins'.
That book is subtitled: "Thermodynamics and Kinetics". It is a textbook for a restricted syllabus course, not a survey of the greater Physical Chemistry field.
 

Related to What is the focus of Atkins' popular textbook in physical chemistry?

1. What is the main focus of Atkins' popular textbook in physical chemistry?

The main focus of Atkins' popular textbook in physical chemistry is to provide a comprehensive and rigorous understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of physical chemistry. It covers topics such as thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum mechanics, and spectroscopy.

2. How does Atkins' textbook approach teaching physical chemistry?

Atkins' textbook uses a combination of theoretical explanations, real-world examples, and practice problems to help students develop a deep understanding of physical chemistry. It also includes visual aids, such as diagrams and illustrations, to aid in the learning process.

3. Is Atkins' textbook suitable for beginners in physical chemistry?

Atkins' textbook is suitable for students at all levels, including beginners. It starts with the basic concepts and gradually builds upon them, making it accessible to those with little to no prior knowledge of physical chemistry.

4. Does Atkins' textbook cover current research and developments in physical chemistry?

Yes, Atkins' textbook includes the latest research and developments in the field of physical chemistry. It also discusses the applications of physical chemistry in various industries, such as materials science, environmental science, and biochemistry.

5. Is Atkins' textbook suitable for self-study or is it better used as a supplement to a course?

Atkins' textbook can be used for both self-study and as a supplement to a course. It is designed to be self-contained, with clear explanations and numerous practice problems, making it a valuable resource for independent learning. However, it can also be used in conjunction with a course to reinforce concepts and provide additional practice.

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