Basic Chemistry: A Problem-SolvingApproach Jullen Gendell. West Publishing: 610 Opperman Dr., St.Paul, MN 55164, 1993. xviii + 598 cm.
w.Figs. and tables. 22.2 x 26.2
This book is written for an introductory course and indudes chanters on auantities and measurements. states of matter. reore3mtmg chernwal substances and reacrmns, ~onaecompounds and covalent compounds, chemlral resctmns. aqueous aalutrons, and gases. The title accurately reflects the author's emphasis on problemsalving skills. Chapter 3 outlines an approach that will be beneficial to many students. Three of the stages in problem solving are ones that are omitted too commonly from the typical tutorial: the importance of starting with a physical picture of the problem to be solved, the need to ask whether an answer is reasonable (if only students would heed this advice!), and the reminder to mnsider what was learned by salving the pmblem. The strategy is used in the worked examples throughout the text. Unfortunately, it is not used in the solutions toin-chapter exercises. Chapter 7 coven proportionality and units. The extension of the strategy to more complicated problems i s treated in Chapter 13, which covers stoichiametry and heat flaw. Astudent who masters the strategies demonstrated in this text will he well prepared for subsequent chemistry (and other physical sciences) courses. Students may find several structural aspects of the text useful. Each chapter section hegins with a short list of learning goals, which helps to divide the learning goals into smaller, more manageable units than can be done with learning goals that encompass a whole chapter. In addition to worked examples, there are exercises distributed through the chapters. Rather than putting the solutions to the exercises immediately after the exercise, the detailed solutions are given a t the end of the chapter. The spatial separation between exercise and solution may encourage students to try the pmblem far themselves before turning to the solution. Answers (without solutions1 to all end-of-chapter problems are given in the back of the book. "Foeus on Applications" blocks are interspersed through the text and cover practical aspects of chemistry and brief historical notes that students are likely to find intriguing. Most of the text is accurate and presented logically and the author appears to be sensitive to the need to define vocabulary and concepts that may be unfamiliar to students. However, there are some lapses. For example, in Chapter 6 the author makes the valid point that space-filling models indicate both the shape and some features of molecular size. I would have expected the aaompanying illustration to show models of small and large molecules. Instead, there is one beaker containing several CPK models of water molecules and a second beaker containing a single CPK model of water. The point of the figure was last on the reviewer. The author also missed the opportunity to mention that the 400mL beaker if filled with real water molecules would have cantained about loz5 water molecules! Even though the concept of moles is not introduced until later in the text the author could
have introduced some feel for the exceedingly small dimensions of real molecules compared to objects with which the student is familiar. A second example of a section that may confuse more than it clarifies is the classification of reactions in Chapter 12.The examples in the "combination reaction"
categories muld be viewed more usefully as redox processes, but redox is not introduced until later in the chapter. There is little advantage to the introduction of these categories. It also is not a good generalization to say that the typical oxidation number of Group 5Aatoms is -3. One might also question the use of the nonIUPAC "Group 5A" notation. It would be clearer to refer simply to the nitrogen group. Overall, the book is clearly written and students are likely to find the emphasis an "how-to" work problems helpful.
Sandra S. Eaton University of Denver Denver, CO 80208
lntroductory Chemistry: A Foundation, 2nd Ed. Steven S. Zumdahl, 0.C. Heath and Company. Lexington. MA, 1993. xxii + 824 pp. Figs. and tables. 21.8 x 24.1 an. If you liked the first edition of this text you will be pleased with the second, because, in the words of the author, "We intentionally Left most of the text unchanged in the semnd edition." In the second edition more problems have been added and small periodic table icons have heen introduced to help students identifiy the periodic table location of each element as it is discussed. This text comes in three versions. Basic Chemistry, second edition, a paperback text, provides basic coverage of chemical concepts and applications through solution chemistry and h a s 15 chapters. Introductory Chemistry second edition, a hardbound text, expands the coverage to 19 chapters with the addtion of radioactivity and nuclear enerw. Finallv. Zntraluetorv Chemistrv: A Foundation. second edittan: a hardl;bund trxr, has 21 rhapt;rs wlth the finai two rhapters provldtnl: a brief mtmdunion toorganic and [email protected]
cal chemistry. Thr first edittons of these texts were reviewed in 1992 r l t.
Liierature Cited 1. Brsun, R.D.J. Cham Educ.1992,69,AMI
Reviewed in This Issue Reviewer Julian Gendell, Basic Chemistry: A Problem-Solving Approach
Sandra S. Eaton
Steven S. Zumdahl, Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation, 2nd Ed.
James E. Finholt
William H. Brock, The Norton History of Chemistry
George B. Kauffman
New Volumes in Continuing Series
Number 8 August 1994