Introduction to Contextual Maths in Chemistry

Andrew Mckinley, Fiona Dickinson

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book


CHEMISTRY STUDENT GUIDES. GUIDED BY STUDENTS For any student who has ever struggled with a mathematical understanding of chemistry, this book is for you. Mathematics is the essential tool for physical scientists. We know that confidence in using mathematics early on in a chemistry degree builds a solid foundation for further study. However, applying the abstract mathematics taught in schools to chemical phenomena is one of the biggest challenges that chemistry students face. In this book, we take a 'chemistry-first' approach. We link the mathematics to recognisable chemical concepts, building on high school chemistry, to facilitate deeper understanding. We cover the practical mathematical skills, including representation of data as tables and graphs, and give an overview of error handling in the physical sciences. More advanced mathematical concepts are introduced, using calculus to determine kinetic rate laws, intermolecular forces and in quantifying energetic change in thermodynamics. We also introduce the concept of the complex number and its role in considering quantum wave functions, widely used in computational chemistry. There are worked examples and problem sets to provide plenty of practise material to build proficiency. We also include insights from real students, which identify common problem areas and provide the prompts that helped them to overcome these. Chemistry Student Guides are written with current students involved at every stage, guiding the books towards the most challenging aspects of the topic. Extra material available online at:
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
Number of pages295
ISBN (Electronic)978-1788014250
ISBN (Print)1788014251
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameChemistry Student Guides
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry


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