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The Bell That Rings Light: A Primer in Quantum Mechanics And Chemical Bonding (Mathematics Across the Curriculum) Paperback – Sep 7 2006
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"It probably serves best as supplementary material, either for mathematics students to see how some seemingly abstract mathematics has been applied to physical systems or for science students to appreciate the logical system that underpins familiar physical models."Choice
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But then every now and then, one might stumble upon a highly welcome surprise: an exception, let alone a gem. This book is such an exception, and gem.
To the original reviewer's comments, I would simply like to add the following: an excerpt from the author's Preface -
"... And because of that little book, for the last twenty years I have made it my hobby to piece together the story of the hydrogen atom, how it grew from a simple little sun-plus-planet into the set of equations that Schrodinger gave, and how the solution to those equations answers questions posed by Bohr himself.
This little book is a gift to myself. It is the book I wish I had found next to those two others when I went to the library, so that I could have reached, with my still limited knowledge of physics and mathematics, the place where the other books began. This book is for you, too, especially if you are taking a physics or chemistry course now. In it, you will find some glue to help patch up your picture of the universe, especially the very small things in it."
I, as well, wish a book like this had existed years ago. On the bright side, it now exists - and would be a wonderful resource to have available to students across the country, by ensuring that a copy is available in (at least) public libraries.
The approach used by this author in having carefully dissected the subject, & skillfully woven step-by-step aspects together in a clear & cohesive manner, is exceptional, & most importantly, effective. The tone is almost conversational, which adds to the appeal, & frankly, in my opinion, is a non-trivial contributor to the presentation's effectiveness (it would also seem to play a role in softening potentially intimidating aspects of the subject for many readers/students). In a way, the writing combines elements which take on the feel of having a dinner conversation with the author, with logically interspersed let-me-show-you -like explanatory specifics included when appropriate, & that might involve a drawing or diagram at times, & at other times, a step-by-step clarification of relevant mathematical equations.
This book is a highly welcome creation, & a truly exceptional accomplishment & educational resource.
I felt compelled to write a review after seeing that only one review existed. This book deserves serious & voluminous praise, & I am grateful to the author for her having been motivated to & tenaciously pursued lucid explanatory approaches to the many facets of quantum mechanics & chemical bonding during the twenty year prelude which led to this book.
Very, Very Nicely Done - and Thank You...
I agree it does a good job of gently introducing QM basics such as the Schrodinger equation and relating it specifically to the Hydrogen atom. However, I was lost with later chs on Schur's Lemma and molecular bonding- either because I'm too dense or I simply lack the necessary math/chemistry background. Also, I found some major errata (and I read the latest printing).
Overall, it's an ok book but it could have been much better if it'd been fleshed out more- as is, I found it too brief an encounter for a primer.
Update: I'd recommend Absolutely Small (2010) by Michael Fayer instead for those looking for a Quantum Chemistry Primer.
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