Maths for chemists, volumes 1 and 2

Maths for chemists, volumes 1 and 2
Martin Crockett and Graham Doggett
Cambridge: RSC 2003 | Pp 200 | ?14.95 each | ISBN 0854046771 and 0854044957
Reviewed by Fernando Bresme

Mathematics is the language for excellence in physical sciences; chemistry is not an exception to this. With the advent of new disciplines such as computational chemistry and the increasing multidisciplinarity of subjects in chemistry, a sound knowledge of mathematics is a must for an undergraduate.

Maths for chemists represents a good addition to the existing literature on the subject. The book is divided in two volumes; the first of them represents a gentle introduction to basic concepts on numbers, functions and calculus. The second volume covers more advance topics, such as, series, complex numbers and linear algebra. The material covered in the first volume should be suitable for students with little mathematical background and also for those who want to refresh basic concepts. As one can infer from the title, this book includes many references to chemistry problems, which conveniently illustrate the relevance of the different mathematical topics discussed in every chapter. For instance the use of differential equations is illustrated through examples taken from kinetics, such as first-order and consecutive reactions.

As a different application of mathematics in chemistry, the second volume contains a brief reference to molecular symmetry and group theory.

The book follows the same structure adopted in the RSC tutorial chemistry texts; aims and summary of key points, and worked problems and questions can be found along the text, making this book a useful companion for discussions in tutorials and lectures. The importance of mathematics in chemistry can not be under estimated; books aiming to show the many applications of the subject are always very welcome.