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Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences

Second Edition

Peter Atkins and Julio de Paula

16 December 2010

ISBN: 9780199564286

624 pages

In Stock

Price: £147.99

Provides a balanced presentation of the concepts of physical chemistry, and their applications to biology and biochemistry.



Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences provides a balanced presentation of the concepts of physical chemistry, and their applications to biology and biochemistry. Written to straddle the worlds of physical chemistry and the life sciences, it shows how the tools of physical chemistry can elucidate and illuminate biological questions.

  • Offers a fully integrated approach to the study of physical chemistry and biology; lecturers and students alike have a text that is truly tailor-made for their course.
  • Presents a conceptually challenging interdisciplinary subject with the clarity and lucidity for which the authors are renowned, making it the text of choice for teaching and learning from.
  • Every section of the text presents a core physical chemistry concept in tandem with its biological significance; the student is in no doubt as to the relevance of the physical concept to the study of biology.
  • All applications and exercises relate directly to life sciences systems, further contextualising the physical chemistry content for life sciences students.
  • The presentation of maths, and calculus in particular, covers only the essentials and each mathematical step is carefully justified, in order to build the students' confidence in the mathematical concepts underlying the subject.
  • An Online Resource Centre features additional resources for both students and lecturers.

New to this edition

  • New full-colour design and completely redrawn artwork programme.
  • Significant revision of the 'Fundamentals' chapter, to include Boltzmann theory and structural biology.
  • New and expanded coverage of numerous topics, including Hückel and Ligand theories.
  • New learning features, including Equation and Concept tags, used to flag up key pieces of information about equations, and Mathematical Toolkits, to deepen your understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • Updated case studies throughout.
  • 'Atlas' of biomolecular structures at the back of book depict the three-dimensional structures of a range of important biomolecules.

About the Author(s)

Peter Atkins, Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford, and Julio de Paula, Professor of Chemistry and Dean of College of Arts & Sciences, Lewis & Clark College

Table of Contents

    Part 1 - Biochemical Thermodynamics
    1:The First Law
    2:The Second Law
    3:Phase Equilibria
    4:Chemical Equilibrium
    5:Thermodynamics of Ion and Electron Transport
    Part 2- The Kinetics of Life Processes
    6:The Rates of Reactions
    7:Accounting for the Rate Laws
    8:Complex Biochemical Processes
    Part 3 - Biomolecular Structure
    9:Microscopic Systems and Quantization
    10:The Chemical Bond
    11:Macromolecules and Self-Assembly
    Part 4 - Biomolecular Spectroscopy
    12:Optical Techniques and Photobiology
    14:Magnetic Resonance


Review from previous edition An excellent textbook - fun to read and crystal clear. - Dr Hans A. Heus, Radboud University Nijmegen

The toolkits are great, the worked examples will be very useful and the 'in the laboratory' sections are very nice to read, and will provide great teaching material. As [in the first edition] the use of recently developed techniques is superb. - Dr Perdita Barran, University of Edinburgh

The authors succeed brilliantly in their aim to show that deep insights into the behaviour of biological systems can be gained by applying the principles of physical chemistry. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it without reservation to teachers and students alike. - Chemistry World, January 2006

This book provides an excellent insight into the subject of physical chemistry, understandable and suitable for both beginners and experts of chemistry. - Internal Journal of Biological Macromolecules, August 2006

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