Chemical structure and reactivity: an integrated approach (2nd ed)


James Keeler and Peter Wothers
Oxford University Press
2014 | 877pp | £47.99
ISBN 9780199604135
Reviewed by Paul Duckmanton
http://rsc.li/CW_140505
 
Chemical structure and reactivity aims to present the topics usually covered in an undergraduate chemistry course in a more holistic way than the traditional organic, inorganic, physical boxes many are familiar with. Such an interdisciplinary approach is often discussed as a way to teach chemistry, but it can be difficult to achieve. 
 
This book does a very good job of the task. The structure of the text lends itself well to the approach, with section one focusing on the fundamental concepts that underlie all fields of chemistry setting the scene for the more traditional treatment of in-depth descriptions in section two. The two sections do not exist in isolation, however, and the reader is regularly directed to consider how the subject material is related to the fundamental concepts established early on. Throughout the book, figures are used extensively to illustrate the concepts, and these are both useful and informative. There are no superfluous or merely decorative images or figures allowing the student to concentrate solely on the subject matter.
 
Owing to the nature of the fundamentals of chemistry, at times the topics seem to be presented from a physical chemistry standpoint. This could be a hindrance to the book’s adoption as a course text as this order may not be the one applied, or thought most logical, when teaching an undergraduate chemistry course. In addition, the size of the book cannot (and does not) hope to cover all aspects of a course, so acting as a stand-alone text is difficult (the end of chapter signposts to additional texts are therefore invaluable). The self-test questions littered through each chapter are equally useful and the provision of answers allows the reader not just to test themselves, but also assess their own progress. 
 
Overall this is a useful textbook, particularly in highlighting the importance and applicability of fundamental theory across chemistry. It will definitely find a use in my arsenal of undergraduate teaching resources. 
 
Purchase Chemical structure and reactivity from Amazon.co.uk
 

Related Content

Its all about orbitals

30 June 2008 Premium contentReview

news image

This is a readable and engaging introduction to chemistry at a fairly demanding first year undergraduate level

Allow me to demonstrate

5 December 2012 Jobs Profile (Personal)

news image

As Peter Wothers gets ready to deliver this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures, Sarah Houlton finds out he’s had...

Most Read

Wind-powered lighting is almost a breeze

13 August 2014 Research

news image

Mechanoluminescent materials seen in a new light

History of King Richard III written in his teeth

18 August 2014 Research

news image

Chemical analysis of isotope signatures in monarch's remains provide insight into his life

Most Commented

Why can we walk on custard?

12 July 2012 Research

news image

Scientists take a closer look at how shear-thickening fluids respond to impacts

Photon pinball identifies chemicals from afar

13 August 2014 Research

news image

Samples turned into random Raman lasers beam their secrets from over a kilometre away