Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199564286

Peter Atkins; Julio De Paula
624 ページ
201 x 266 mm



  • Offers a fully integrated approach to the study of physical chemistry and biology; lecturers and students alike have a text that is truly tailor-made for their course.
  • Presents a conceptually challenging interdisciplinary subject with the clarity and lucidity for which the authors are renowned, making it the text of choice for teaching and learning from.
  • Every section of the text presents a core physical chemistry concept in tandem with its biological significance; the student is in no doubt as to the relevance of the physical concept to the study of biology.
  • All applications and exercises relate directly to life sciences systems, further contextualising the physical chemistry content for life sciences students.
  • The presentation of maths, and calculus in particular, covers only the essentials and each mathematical step is carefully justified, in order to build the students' confidence in the mathematical concepts underlying the subject.
  • An Online Resource Centre features additional resources for both students and lecturers.

New to this Edition:

  • New full-colour design and completely redrawn artwork programme.
  • Significant revision of the 'Fundamentals' chapter, to include Boltzmann theory and structural biology.
  • New and expanded coverage of numerous topics, including Hückel and Ligand theories.
  • New learning features, including Equation and Concept tags, used to flag up key pieces of information about equations, and Mathematical Toolkits, to deepen your understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • Updated case studies throughout.
  • 'Atlas' of biomolecular structures at the back of book depict the three-dimensional structures of a range of important biomolecules.

Physical chemistry lies at the heart of the behaviour of those macromolecules and molecular assemblies that have vital roles in all living organisms. Physical principles determine the stability of proteins and nucleic acids, the rate at which biochemical reactions proceed, the transport of molecules across biological molecules; they allow us to describe structure and reactivity in complex biological systems, and make sense of how these systems operate.
Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences provides a balanced presentation of the concepts of physical chemistry, and their extensive applications to biology and biochemistry. It is written to straddle the worlds of physical chemistry and the life sciences and to show students how the tools of physical chemistry can elucidate and illuminate biological questions.
Opening with a suite of chapters on Biochemical Thermodynamics, with a focus on energy conversion in biological cells and the factors that stabilize proteins, nucleic acids, and cell membranes, the book goes on to explore the Kinetics of Life Processes, examining the rates of chemical reactions, how rates can help characterise the mechanism of a reaction, and how enzymes affect reaction rates. A third section, Biomolecular Structure, looks at how concepts of physical chemistry can be used to establish those 'rules' that govern the assembly of complex biological structures, while the final section, Biomolecular Spectroscopy, describes the major techniques in biochemistry that are being applied to help us to explore biochemical processes and systems ever further.
Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences places emphasis on clear explanations of difficult concepts, with an eye toward building insight into biochemical phenomena. An extensive range of learning features, including worked examples, illustrations, self-tests, and case studies, support student learning throughout, while special attention is given to providing extensive help to students with those mathematical concepts and techniques that are so central to a sound understanding of physical chemistry.
Balancing clarity and rigor of exposition of basic concepts with extensive discussion of biological techniques and processes, Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences is the perfect resource for every life science student who seeks to master those essentials of physical chemistry that underpin life itself.


Part 1 - Biochemical Thermodynamics
1: The First Law
2: The Second Law
3: Phase Equilibria
4: Chemical Equilibrium
5: Thermodynamics of Ion and Electron Transport

Part 2- The Kinetics of Life Processes
6: The Rates of Reactions
7: Accounting for the Rate Laws
8: Complex Biochemical Processes

Part 3 - Biomolecular Structure
9: Microscopic Systems and Quantization
10: The Chemical Bond
11: Macromolecules and Self-Assembly

Part 4 - Biomolecular Spectroscopy
12: Optical Techniques and Photobiology
14: Magnetic Resonance


Peter Atkins, Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford, and Julio de Paula, Professor of Chemistry and Dean of College of Arts & Sciences, Lewis & Clark College

Review from previous edition 

An excellent textbook - fun to read and crystal clear. - Dr Hans A. Heus, Radboud University Nijmegen
The toolkits are great, the worked examples will be very useful and the 'in the laboratory' sections are very nice to read, and will provide great teaching material. As [in the first edition] the use of recently developed techniques is superb. - Dr Perdita Barran, University of Edinburgh
The authors succeed brilliantly in their aim to show that deep insights into the behaviour of biological systems can be gained by applying the principles of physical chemistry. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it without reservation to teachers and students alike. - Chemistry World, January 2006
This book provides an excellent insight into the subject of physical chemistry, understandable and suitable for both beginners and experts of chemistry. - Internal Journal of Biological Macromolecules, August 2006