It provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of chemistry on which to build later studies

Chemistry3: Introducing inorganic, organic and physical chemistry

Andy Burrows, Andy Parsons and Gareth Price 

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press 2009 | 1416pp | ?42.99 (SB) 

ISBN 9780199277896 

Reviewed by Hamish Kidd 

Chemistry<sub>3</sub>: Introducing inorganic, organic and physical chemistry

Chemistry spans all three strands of chemistry - organic, inorganic and physical - to enable students to see the subject as a single, unified discipline. It provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of chemistry on which to build later studies.  

The author team includes two specialists in chemistry education who bring to the book a wealth of experience of teaching chemistry in a way that students enjoy and understand. The result is a text that builds on what students already know from school and tackles their misunderstandings and misconceptions, thereby providing a seamless transition from school to undergraduate study. 

The text is well illustrated and full of useful and interesting boxes and sidebars showing the ubiquity of chemistry in both nature and everyday human life. These enhancements, together with helpful notes and cross-references aid comprehension and mean that the book can be easily dipped into to provide learning in bite-sized chunks.  

Of particular usefulness is the mechanistic approach to organic chemistry, rather than the old-fashioned ’functional group’ approach. 

Instead of avoiding the maths, Chemistry3  provides structured support, in the form of careful explanations, reminders of key mathematical concepts, step-by-step calculations in worked examples, and a Maths Toolkit, to help students get to grips with the essential mathematical elements of chemistry. 

Like many textbooks these days this book is supported by a teaching and resource package online. For students there are interactive and animation-based activities, 3D rotatable molecular structures and interactive ’walk-throughs’ of solutions to selected problems. For lecturers there is a ’test bank’ of multiple choice questions and illustrations from the book available to download.  

This book would be ideal for introductory courses in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, both for first-year chemistry undergraduates and for students in allied sciences, such as biochemistry, seeking a good grounding in introductory chemistry.