Books  Ecological & Biological Sciences  Physical Sciences  Chemistry 

A Life Scientist's Guide to Physical Chemistry


By: Marc R Roussel(Author)

460 pages, 113 b/w illustrations, 18 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Apr 2012 | #194628 | ISBN-13: 9780521186964
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £31.99 $42/€36 approx
Hardback | Apr 2012 | #194629 | ISBN-13: 9781107006782
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £106.99 $141/€121 approx

About this book

Motivating students to engage with physical chemistry through biological examples, A Life Scientist's Guide to Physical Chemistry demonstrates how the tools of physical chemistry can be used to illuminate biological questions. It clearly explains key principles and their relevance to life science students, using only the most straightforward and relevant mathematical tools. More than 350 exercises are spread throughout the chapters, covering a wide range of biological applications and explaining issues that students often find challenging. These, along with problems at the end of each chapter and end-of-term review questions, encourage active and continuous study. Over 130 worked examples, many deriving directly from life sciences, help students connect principles and theories to their own laboratory studies. Connections between experimental measurements and key theoretical quantities are frequently highlighted and reinforced. Answers to the exercises are included in A Life Scientist's Guide to Physical Chemistry.

"The author has intentionally reduced the amount of mathematics, while introducing some necessary mathematical concepts with a 'just-in-time' approach [...] One unique feature is the incorporation of exercises throughout the text, rather than just at the end of each chapter [...] This is a very appealing format; as instructors, we are often asked by students which problems they should practice if they are having trouble with particular concepts, and the approach of this text makes this very clear [...] the author writes in an informal and approachable voice that students will find appealing."
- Surita R. Bhatia, Quarterly Review of Biology

"'Professor Roussel has produced a fantastic book for those interested in learning about physical chemistry. Although it is aimed at students of the life sciences, anyone can benefit from his clear explanations and worked examples. His writing style is very conversational, which makes reading the text a pleasure. The choices of problems are relevant and interesting, as are the suggested readings. I highly recommend this book to anyone who plans on teaching a course in physical chemistry for biochemists and molecular biologists."
- Michael S. Sommer, University of Wyoming

"Although conversational in style [...] this is a rigorous, authoritative and yet remarkably up-to-date piece of work. It will be particularly enticing for biochemistry and molecular biology students, and seems destined to go through many more editions in future."
- Dr Bernard Dixon OBE, The Biologist

"Roussel's text would be very well suited for our one-semester physical chemistry for life sciences course."
- Jochen Autschbach, State University of New York, Buffalo



1. Orientation: what is physical chemistry about?
A note on graph axis labels and table headings

Part I. Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
2. A quick tour of quantum mechanical ideas
3. Spectroscopy

Part II. Thermodynamics
4. Thermodynamics preliminaries
5. The first law
6. The second law of thermodynamics
7. Free energy
8. Chemical equilibrium and coupled reactions
9. Non-ideal behavior
10. Electrochemistry

Part III. Kinetics
11. Basics of chemical kinetics
12. Initial rate experiments and simple empirical rate laws
13. Integrated rate laws
14. Complex reactions
15. Enzyme kinetics
16. Techniques for studying fast reactions
17. Factors that affect the rate constant
18. Diffusion and reactions in solution

Appendix A. End-of-term review problems
Appendix B. Answers to exercises
Appendix C. Standard thermodynamic properties at 298.15K and 1 bar
Appendix D. Standard reduction potentials at 298.15K
Appendix E. Physical properties of water
Appendix F. The SI system of units
Appendix G. Universal constants and conversion factors
Appendix H. Periodic table of the elements, with molar masses
Appendix I. Selected isotopic masses and abundances
Appendix J. Exponentials and logarithms
Appendix K. Review of integral calculus


Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!


Marc R. Roussel is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge, Canada. His research on the dynamics of biological systems lies at the interface of chemistry, biology and mathematics. He has been teaching physical chemistry for the past fifteen years.

Bestsellers in this subject

Chemistry for Environmental Engineering and Science

NHBS Price: £59.99 $79/€68 approx


NHBS Price: £33.99 $45/€39 approx

The Periodic Table

NHBS Price: £9.99 $13/€11 approx

Reactions: The Private Life of Atoms

NHBS Price: £12.99 $17/€15 approx

An Introduction to Chemistry for Biology Students

NHBS Price: £29.62 $39/€34 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194