E. Brian Smith (1973)

Basic Chemical Thermodynamics by E. Brian Smith, published by Oxford University Press and printed in Great Britain. This copy, which I purchased from a charity shop in Glasgow, is a second edition from 1977.

First published in 1973, this book is still in print at the time of writing and has been through no less than six editions. Amazingly, the chapter organization of the book has remained unchanged over 41 years, the only additions being a chapter on the molecular basis of thermodynamics i.e. statistical thermodynamics and the much needed inclusion of Gibbs’ Phase Rule.

Contents listing of the sixth edition

1. Introduction
2. Energy
3. Entropy and equilibrium
4. Equilibrium in chemical systems
5. Determination of thermodynamic quantities
6. Ideal solutions
7. Non-ideal solutions
8. Thermodynamics of gases
9. The molecular basis of thermodynamics

The publisher’s summary on the back cover of the sixth edition largely coincides with my view of the book, so I think it is fair to reproduce part of it here:

“This widely acclaimed text, now in its sixth edition and translated into many languages, continues to present a clear, simple and concise introduction to chemical thermodynamics. An examination of equilibrium in the everyday world of mechanical objects provides a starting point for an accessible account of the factors that determine equilibrium in chemical systems. This straightforward approach leads students to a thorough understanding of the basic principles of thermodynamics, which are then applied to a wide range of physical chemical systems.”

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P Mander January 2022