Paul Yates reviews this text aimed at A-level and first year degree level
Chemistry - chemistry calculations explained
Abergele: Studymates 2005 | Pp160 | £9.99 | ISBN1 842 85072 5
I was immediately taken by the author's analogy on the rear cover of this book that 'not being able to calculate in chemistry is like not being able to spell'. Chemistry teachers at all levels will be aware of the difficulties many students have once numbers appear, and any new text in this area is potentially of interest to address this problem. This particular volume is aimed at the different types of calculation required at A-level and first-year degree level.
This is very much a chemistry text, rather than one in mathematics. The chapter titles cover familiar chemistry topics, including stoichiometry, gases, enthalpy changes, acids and bases, and formula determinations. The emphasis is very much on the manipulation of numbers, rather than developing any deep mathematical concepts. Consequently each chapter is filled with examples; these can be used as recipes to guide a student through similar problems with different numbers.
There is a healthy number of questions at the end of each chapter, and the final answers to each one appear at the end of the book. While more detailed answers would always be of use, their inclusion is precluded by the need to keep a book of this nature to a manageable size.
The way in which the topics have been selected and addressed make this book an appropriate aid to sixthformers and undergraduates, particularly those who are less confident mathematically.