Frontiers and Foundations from a Global and Molecular Perspective
- Winner of the 2021 Dreyfus Prize, Conferred in Environmental Chemistry
A new approach to teaching university-level chemistry that links core concepts of chemistry and physical science to current global challenges.
Introductory chemistry and physics are generally taught at the university level as isolated subjects, divorced from any compelling context. Moreover, the “formalism first” teaching approach presents students with disembodied knowledge, abstract and learned by rote. By contrast, this textbook presents a new approach to teaching university-level chemistry that links core concepts of chemistry and physical science to current global challenges. It provides the rigorous development of the principles of chemistry but places these core concepts in a global context to engage developments in technology, energy production and distribution, the irreversible nature of climate change, and national security.
Each chapter opens with a “Framework” section that establishes the topic's connection to emerging challenges. Next, the “Core” section addresses concepts including the first and second law of thermodynamics, entropy, Gibbs free energy, equilibria, acid-base reactions, electrochemistry, quantum mechanics, molecular bonding, kinetics, and nuclear. Finally, the “Case Studies” section explicitly links the scientific principles to an array of global issues. These case studies are designed to build quantitative reasoning skills, supply the technology background, and illustrate the critical global need for the infusion of technology into energy generation. The text's rigorous development of both context and scientific principles equips students for advanced classes as well as future involvement in scientific and societal arenas. University Chemistry was written for a widely adopted course created and taught by the author at Harvard.
“This well-written textbook from a leader in the field highlights the role of chemistry in addressing some of the most important challenges of the twenty-first century, in particular those dealing with energy and the environment. A must-read for chemistry students."
Harry B. Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology; coeditor of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
“Jim Anderson has produced an audaciously original general chemistry book. He succeeds brilliantly in expressing deep insight into chemical principles and an evident zeal to demonstrate what chemistry is good for.”
Matthew Tirrell, Dean, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago
“This outstanding text connects chemistry to societal challenges of climate and energy. Introductory courses can be dry as desiccant, but this rigorous work has the zing of real-world relevance to draw students into our discipline.”
Neil M. Donahue, Thomas Lord University Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University