D.H. Everett (1959)

An Introduction to the study of Chemical Thermodynamics by D.H. Everett, published by Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd and printed in Great Britain. This copy, which once belonged to a student at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, is a first edition from 1959.

Douglas Hugh Everett (1916-2002) was a British chemist who spent much of his career teaching at universities in England and Scotland. His purpose in writing this textbook was to cater for students meeting thermodynamics for the first time, but he thought that students would want to know how thermodynamics could be valuable to them (in the first 10 of the book’s 12 chapters) before introducing the laws of thermodynamics just before the end in chapter 11. Everett’s approach is straight out of left field and the book generally has an oddball feeling to it.

The book was reviewed in 1960 by the Journal of Chemical Education and the reviewer was seriously unimpressed, to say the least. You can see the review here.

But that said, there are redeeming features especially in chapters 6 and 7 where Everett covers the thermodynamics of ideal solutions and chemical equilibrium. There are some novel logic paths here, and the method he introduces for charting the molar Gibbs free energy of a reaction mixture with respect to the degree of advancement of the reaction is a real door-opener.

It’s ideas like this that make me fond of this book for all its shortcomings as a college teaching text.

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P Mander January 2022