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Chapter 1

Study tips and resources for Chapter 1 – Physical Chemistry by Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary

Chemical Kinetics Part II: In great deeds, something abides!

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

With all due respect to Joshua Chamberlain; what about little deeds? By “little” I don’t mean “less important”, but “microscopic”.

When studying (and understanding) chemical kinetics, I’ve always found marvelous that a microscopic interpretation of some phenomena is not only possible, but simple too! Continue reading

Thermal Equilibrium – Simplified!

Thermal Equilibrium in Physical Chemistry

Screen grab - interactive multimedia from the physical chemistry book (Click to enlarge)

Setting the Scene – Back to Basics

In order to understand the concept of thermal equilibrium (Chapter 1 section 1.4 of the physical chemistry textbook), we must first set the scene – by going back to basics.  And a good starting point for discussion is temperature and heat.

We all have a more or less well-developed sense of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’.  We understand the concept of temperature to mean that high values are linked to ‘hotness’ of a body or system whilst lower values are associated with ‘coldness’. Temperature is what the thermometer reads. However, the measurement of temperature on a numerical scale has always presented problems. The basic difficulty is that the measured temperature depends on the thermometer being used. Continue reading

A look at Systems, States and Equilibrium – Physical Chemistry ch 1.3

Physical Chemistry - Systems, States, and Equilibrium multimedia clip

Screengrab of interactive multimedia clip from Physical Chemistry textbook (click to enlarge)

In order to understand the workings of a physical process or chemical reaction, a limited area of study must be isolated.  This area is usually described as the system and can be as large or as small as necessary.

Any area not included in the system is considered the surroundings.  Thermodynamics is the study of heat and other forms of energy in both chemical and physical processes in specific systems.

The first law of thermodynamics follows the law of conservation for heat.  Simply stated, heat can not be created or destroyed, merely changed from one form to another.  The second law involves the amount of order involved with a spontaneous reaction in a system. Continue reading

The role of temperature; kinetic molecular theory in physical chemistry

Metal spheres in a kinetic theory model represent the motion of gas molecules or atoms. Temperature has a strict relation to kinetic energy; this much is clear, but sometimes it’s not as clear as it should be! As human beings, we usually “believe” more in what we can touch than in what we are made aware by equations; and, definitely, energy is something we cannot see, or touch. Right? On the other hand, we can see a thermometer, or we can touch something hot and/or cold, and in this way rest assured that temperature DOES exist. Continue reading

IIT-JEE Topics covered under Ch.1 (free download) of Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, SanctuaryIf you are preparing for the IIT-JEE or any similar exam that requires an understanding of Physical chemistry, you now have an invaluable but affordable resource available.

The latest, interactive edition of Physical Chemistry by renowned educators Keith J. Laidler (a pioneer in chemical kinetics, Univ. of Ottawa, Canada), John H. Meiser ( Ball state Univ., USA) and Bryan C .Sanctuary (McGill Univ., Canada), makes it easy to understand difficult concepts.

Interesting and informative multimedia components are built into the book and pop-up when clicked so you can listen to explanations of the material you are working on, and perform interactions that will help you understand the concepts. Continue reading

Try our bestselling undergraduate Physical Chemistry courseware

Thermodynamics Module - Physical Chemistry
Thermodynamics module
Chapters 1 to 6 of Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary


Includes multimedia that opens on relevant pages and allows the student to visualize many of the concepts by varying parameters and plotting different graphs. Things students often have difficulty with, such as isothermal, isobaric, isochoric and adiabatic process, are clearly visualized.

Get it from: Thermodynamics Module - Physical Chemistry



Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary
Physical Chemistry textbook
by Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary


This popular Physical Chemistry text book is now available in electronic format. We have preserved much of the material of the former hard copy editions, making changes to improve understanding of the concepts in addition to including some of the recent discoveries in physical chemistry. Many chapters have new sections and the coverage of several chapters has been greatly expanded.

Get it from: Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary

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