Cengage Learning

Higher Education

Physical Chemistry, 1st Edition

  • David W. Ball Cleveland State University
  • ISBN-10: 0534266584  |  ISBN-13: 9780534266585
  • 836 Pages
  • © 2003 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $277.50 List Price = $ 374.95
  • Newer Edition Available
  *Why an online review copy?
  • It's the greener, leaner way to review! An online copy cuts down on paper and on time. Reduce the wait (and the weight) of printed texts. Your online copy arrives instantly, and you can review it anytime from your computer or favorite mobile device.

If you prefer a print copy to review, please contact your representative.



Intended for the year long, calculus-based physical chemistry course for science and engineering majors, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY follows a traditional organization while concentrating on core topics. The text does not cover some higher level topics-for example, photochemistry, molecular beams, thermal physics, and polymers- found in some textbooks, and rarely covered in the undergraduate physical chemistry course, but more fully explains the essential elements of the discipline. Written by a dedicated chemical educator and researcher, this text is intended for those students who are trying to learn physical chemistry-a book that works as a textbook and not as an encyclopedia. Where appropriate, there is some focus on mathematical manipulations, providing students with a review of calculus applications as applied to physical chemistry.

Table of Contents

1. Gases and the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics.
2. The First Law of Thermodynamics.
3. The Second and Third Law of Thermodynamics.
4. Free Energy and Chemical Potential.
5. Introduction to Chemical Equilibrium.
6. Equilibria for Single Component Systems.
7. Equilibria for Multiple-Component Systems.
8. Electrochemistry and Ionic Solutions.
9. Pre-Quantum Mechanics.
10. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics.
11. Quantum Mechanics: Model Systems and the Hydrogen Atom.
12. Atoms and Molecules.
13. Introduction to Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics.
14. Rotational and Vibrational Spectroscopy.
15. Introduction to Electronic Spectroscopy and Structure.
16. Introduction to Magnetic Spectroscopy.
17. Statistical Mechanics: Introduction.
18. More Statistical Mechanics.
19. The Kinetic Theory of Gases.
20. Kinetics.
21. The Solid State: Crystals.
22. Surfaces.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I think the quality of problems and examples is good, and their number is sufficient. Examples in the manuscript are good, and explained thoroughly, without omitting intermediate steps. This is a big plus for Dr. Ball’s text. Again, I think that the writing style is very good, language is simple and clear. I will add here that the author’s idea to provide some biographical information and portraits of major physical chemists is excellent."

— Darius Kuciauskas, Virginia Commonwealth University

"The problems and examples seem to be numerous and cover an appropriate range of activities. I do like the breadth of theoretical and numerical examples and problems offered, and I like the continual attention to units--to the point of actually providing examples and problems that address nothing else. Units are an important issue in scientific calculations, one that is often overlooked or under-appreciated by chemistry texts." "Ball’s writing style is well-suited for his target audience. His straight-forward, plain English style is easily followed and, I think, would tend to speak TO students rather than OVER them. Students should find his somewhat informal language and candid description to be more palatable than are the traditional formal prose used in many physical chemistry texts. With a textbook that spoke more understandably to begin with, I could imagine spending more time on discussions of concepts rather than discourses on formulation. I think this would be a positive contribution to a learning environment."

— G. Alan Schick, Eastern Kentucky University

"The biggest strength of the manuscript is that it carefully and clearly explains the logic used in the derivations and the examples. The level of explanation, exercises, etc. is consistent. I really liked the way that Dr. Ball had students think about units first and then worry about the numbers. That is a weak point for many students and having the text clearly use this approach is a real plus. The author set out to generate a user-friendly physical chemistry text and he has succeeded in doing it. This manuscript has a straight-ahead no nonsense feel about it. It is very much ordered as this is what you need to know, this is what it means, and this is how you use it."

— Thomas C. Devore, James Madison University

"I certainly agree with the author’s attempts to make the textbook less intimidating and encyclopedic. Many physical chemistry textbooks, with the necessary extensive use of mathematical symbolism, are often quite imposing to the average student. Using as many approaches as practicable to make the presentations more reader friendly is a noble, worthwhile goal. The author’s uses of introductory chapter synopses, many clearly worked examples, clear derivations, and end-of-chapter summaries are very helpful." "The author includes many carefully worked example problems. These are very helpful in building confidence and reinforcing the student’s understanding of concepts. He shows the method for solving these in considerable detail with explanations and often follows up with some discussion of the significance of the result. The author’s writing style is very straightforward, clear, and to the point. It would be quite readable by my students. The vocabulary level is generally appropriate for sophomore/junior college students."

— Russell Tice, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

"I was very pleased with the number of examples included in the body of the chapter; in some cases it seemed like a factor of two more than in other texts. I think this is vital to a student’s understanding of the material. I was also pleased to see the problems at the end of the chapter grouped by sections. Students must have a series of problems, starting easy and working up in difficulty, in order to work the most challenging problems. I was overall pleased with the balance between simpler and more difficult problems as well as the balance between quantitative and qualitative questions. The latter are too often neglected in physical chemistry texts. I was also pleased to see many problems relating to real world situations. Thermodynamics is much more interesting when applied to problems other than adiabatic expansions of ideal gases! I found the writing style to be conversational and very easy to follow." "The strengths of this manuscript are the detail, mathematical level, and development of the text, the number and quality of example problems, and the selection and range of difficulty in the end of chapter problems."

— Lisa M. Goss, Idaho State University

"The constant emphasis on units is also a strength. I liked the [writing] style. Equations were developed and not simply presented without explanation."

— Robert D. Williams, Lincoln University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Student Supplements

Student Solutions Manual  (ISBN-10: 053439714X | ISBN-13: 9780534397142)

The manual consists of complete solutions to all odd end-of-chapter exercises and problems.

List Price = $147.95  | CengageBrain Price = $147.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $109.25

Meet the Author

Author Bio

David W. Ball

David W. Ball is Professor of Chemistry at Cleveland State University. His research interests include computational chemistry of new high energy materials, matrix isolation spectroscopy, and various topics in chemical education. He has over 160 publications, equally split between research articles and educational articles, including five books currently in print. He has won recognition for the quality of his teaching, receiving several departmental and college teaching awards as well as the university’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2002. He has been a contributing editor to "Spectroscopy" magazine since 1994, where he writes "The Baseline" column on fundamental topics in spectroscopy. He is also active in professional service, serving on the Board of Trustees for the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and the Board of Governors of the Cleveland Technical Societies Council. He is also very active in the American Chemical Society, serving the Cleveland Section as chair twice (in 1998 and 2009) and Councilor from 2001 to the present.