Best chemistry books according to redditors

We found 1,043 Reddit comments discussing the best chemistry books. We ranked the 483 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Analytical chemistry books
Clinical chemistry books
General chemistry books
Inorganic chemistry books
Organic chemistry books
Physical & theoretical chemistry books
Industrial & technical chemistry books
Chemistry safety books
Chromotography chemistry books
Polymers & macromolecules in chemistry books
Alkaloids chemistry books
Molecular chemistry books
Nuclear chemistry books
Photochemistry books
Electrochemistry books

Top Reddit comments about Chemistry:

u/njraymondi · 668 pointsr/pics

Here are all 4 books for less than $170 total

u/rseasmith · 453 pointsr/science

For a fun read, I love The Disappearing Spoon.

For a while, I've been meaning to read Salt which is another fun read.

I also just love the Periodic Table of Videos YouTube channel for other fun stuff.

Textbook-wise, you can't beat Stumm and Morgan or Metcalf and Eddy for your water chemistry/water treatment needs.

u/ninjafizzy · 239 pointsr/funny

All of the books I can see from top to bottom on Amazon:

  1. -- used price: $90.98.
  2. -- used price: $70.00 (paperback is $29.99)
  3. -- used price: $72.44 (paperback is $42.65)
  4. -- used price: $52.66
  5. -- used price: $129.96 (paperback is $84.38)
  6. -- used price: $169.33 (paperback is $79.86)
  7. -- used price: $8.00
  8. -- used price: $47.99 (paperback is $22.48)
  9. -- used price: $8.32 (paperback is $1.96)
  10. -- used price: $28.00
  11. -- used price: $80.00
  12. -- used price: $11.97 (paperback is $2.94)
  13. -- used price: $161.72
  14. -- used price: $75.00
  15. -- used price: $154.99 (loose leaf is $118.23)
  16. -- used price: $139.00 (loose leaf is $115)
  17. -- used price: $93.50 (international edition is $49.80)
  18. -- used price: $83.00

    Books & Speakers | Price (New)
    Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering (4th Edition) | $122.84
    Molecular Thermodynamics | $80.17
    Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach | $89.59
    Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles | $128.32
    Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (The Mcgraw-Hill Chemical Engineering Series) | $226.58
    Organic Chemistry 8th Edition | $186.00
    Elementary Differential Equations | $217.67
    Numerical Methods for Engineers, Sixth Edition | $200.67
    Applied Partial Differential Equations | $20.46
    Transport Phenomena, 2nd Edition | $85.00
    Basic Engineering Data Collection and Analysis | $239.49
    Calculus (9th Edition) | $146.36
    Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, 3rd Edition | $206.11
    Inorganic Chemistry (4th Edition) | $100.00
    Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer | $197.11
    Biochemistry: A Short Course, 2nd Edition | $161.45
    Separation Process Principles: Chemical and Biochemical Operations | $156.71
    University Physics with Modern Physics (13th Edition) | $217.58
    Speakers | $50.00

    Most you can get is $1476.86 (selling all of the books (used and hard cover) in person), and if you sell it on Amazon, they take around 15% in fees, so you'll still get $1255.33. But wait...if you sell it to your university's book store, best they can do is $.01.

    Total cost: $2832.11 (including speakers)

    Net loss: -$1355.25 (books only). If sold on Amazon, net loss: -$1576.78 (books only). Speakers look nice; I wouldn't sell them.

    Edit: Added the two books and the table. /u/The_King_of_Pants gave the price of speakers. ¡Muchas gracias para el oro! Reminder: Never buy your books at the bookstore.

    Edit 2: Here are most of the books on Library Genesis
    Thanks to /u/WhereToGoTomorrow
u/Gro-Tsen · 28 pointsr/books
  • The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais, which sells for a mere $755 on Amazon. It's (obviously) a computer-generated book whose title doesn't even mean anything (I have a theory of how the "60 milligrams" came into being, though). This is probably a good example of a book which is sold by Amazon and which I'm pretty sure nobody has ever read, not even the "author" (or he would have caught the meaningless title).

    Also, Reddit apparently decided that linking to the Amazon page for this book is taboo (a comment containing such a link will be subtly invisible to other users). Which makes it strange for another reason!

    At least Chemical Shifts and Coupling Constants for Silicon-29, a bargain at $7295, has probably been read, and even written, by a human being.
u/anastas · 22 pointsr/askscience

My main hobby is reading textbooks, so I decided to go beyond the scope of the question posed. I took a look at what I have on my shelves in order to recommend particularly good or standard books that I think could characterize large portions of an undergraduate degree and perhaps the beginnings of a graduate degree in the main fields that interest me, plus some personal favorites.

Neuroscience: Theoretical Neuroscience is a good book for the field of that name, though it does require background knowledge in neuroscience (for which, as others mentioned, Kandel's text is excellent, not to mention that it alone can cover the majority of an undergraduate degree in neuroscience if corequisite classes such as biology and chemistry are momentarily ignored) and in differential equations. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology were used in my classes on cognition and learning/memory and I enjoyed both; though they tend to choose breadth over depth, all references are research papers and thus one can easily choose to go more in depth in any relevant topics by consulting these books' bibliographies.

General chemistry, organic chemistry/synthesis: I liked Linus Pauling's General Chemistry more than whatever my school gave us for general chemistry. I liked this undergraduate organic chemistry book, though I should say that I have little exposure to other organic chemistry books, and I found Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis to be very informative and useful. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take instrumental/analytical/inorganic/physical chemistry and so have no idea what to recommend there.

Biochemistry: Lehninger is the standard text, though it's rather expensive. I have limited exposure here.

Mathematics: When I was younger (i.e. before having learned calculus), I found the four-volume The World of Mathematics great for introducing me to a lot of new concepts and branches of mathematics and for inspiring interest; I would strongly recommend this collection to anyone interested in mathematics and especially to people considering choosing to major in math as an undergrad. I found the trio of Spivak's Calculus (which Amazon says is now unfortunately out of print), Stewart's Calculus (standard text), and Kline's Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach to be a good combination of rigor, practical application, and physical intuition, respectively, for calculus. My school used Marsden and Hoffman's Elementary Classical Analysis for introductory analysis (which is the field that develops and proves the calculus taught in high school), but I liked Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis (nicknamed "Baby Rudin") better. I haven't worked my way though Munkres' Topology yet, but it's great so far and is often recommended as a standard beginning toplogy text. I haven't found books on differential equations or on linear algebra that I've really liked. I randomly came across Quine's Set Theory and its Logic, which I thought was an excellent introduction to set theory. Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica is a very famous text, but I haven't gotten hold of a copy yet. Lang's Algebra is an excellent abstract algebra textbook, though it's rather sophisticated and I've gotten through only a small portion of it as I don't plan on getting a PhD in that subject.

Computer Science: For artificial intelligence and related areas, Russell and Norvig's Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach's text is a standard and good text, and I also liked Introduction to Information Retrieval (which is available online by chapter and entirely). For processor design, I found Computer Organization and Design to be a good introduction. I don't have any recommendations for specific programming languages as I find self-teaching to be most important there, nor do I know of any data structures books that I found to be memorable (not that I've really looked, given the wealth of information online). Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming is considered to be a gold standard text for algorithms, but I haven't secured a copy yet.

Physics: For basic undergraduate physics (mechanics, e&m, and a smattering of other subjects), I liked Fundamentals of Physics. I liked Rindler's Essential Relativity and Messiah's Quantum Mechanics much better than whatever books my school used. I appreciated the exposition and style of Rindler's text. I understand that some of the later chapters of Messiah's text are now obsolete, but the rest of the book is good enough for you to not need to reference many other books. I have little exposure to books on other areas of physics and am sure that there are many others in this subreddit that can give excellent recommendations.

Other: I liked Early Theories of the Universe to be good light historical reading. I also think that everyone should read Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

u/joev83 · 18 pointsr/prephysicianassistant

This book was really helpful.

I had to study non-stop for Ochem. It was my last prereq. It was a good experience in the sense that studying for PA school has been very similar.

u/wygibmer · 16 pointsr/chemistry

It sounds like on one hand you want a historical context for how quantum mechanics came to be, and on the other you want a proof for what are wholly postulated (and thus unprovable) laws. Do you have the same complaints about Newton's Laws? Those are also postulated, but since we can observe them on the spatial and temporal scales we have evolved to experience unaided, they seem more intuitive. If we could instead see the wave nature of the quantum world all the time, Newton's Laws might be equally baffling to ponder. In short, the Schrodinger Equation is no more or less provable than F = ma. We only have their consistent success in reproducing observable phenomena to put stock in.

With that said, the onset of quantum mechanics was a necessary solution to observed phenomena that could not be accounted for with classical laws (for instance, black-body radiation, Young's double slit experiment or Einstein's photoelectric effect). There are six postulates which govern quantum mechanics at its roots, and these are not provable (again, much like Newton's Laws). The only reason these postulates are taken to be laws is that they reproduce everything we can observe on the quantum scale (although, as you learn more about these you will see a certain logic to their necessity, but no formal proof).

As for your question about the imaginary part of the wave function, you should know from calculus that all wave functions have imaginary character via Euler's Relation. If you want to use trig functions, the complex exponential comes along for the ride--and in fact, makes many quantum problems way more approachable than the traditional sine/cosine formulation. The necessity of squaring the wave function (actually, you are multiplying by its complex conjugate) stems from this issue--a complex number has no physical meaning, but by squaring it, you are making the value real.

As for your question about momentum--check out Table 1 in the postulates link above. Momentum is one of a number of Hermitian operators that can operate on your wave function to return a value for an observable phenomenon. Thus, if you determine the wave function for a system of interest, you can operate on that wave function with one of these operators, and you will get back an eigenvalue in front of your wave function that corresponds to an observable phenomenon. This is perhaps a good time to point out that there is not "a wave equation" but rather uncountably many wave equations that govern different systems under different conditions. In fact, the only wave function we can derive analytically is that of the hydrogen atom. Once you introduce more than one electron, their interactions with each other as well as the nucleus need to be solved numerically (by making certain approximations, for instance that the nuclei are fixed in space, since their motion is so much slower than that of the electrons).

I'm sure this is an incomplete answer to your question, and the truth is it takes a long time to wrap your head around what I've discussed here--and this is only scratching the surface of the state of the art. Let me know if I can clarify anything further.

EDIT: I suggest the first 8 chapters of this book for a more complete, coherent introduction to what you are asking about.

u/Yuktobania · 16 pointsr/worldnews

Chemistry has some expensive textbooks (each separate word is its own link)

u/GetLohh · 15 pointsr/premed

I'm gonna jump on the top comment to add: David R. Klein's books Organic Chemistry as a Second Language was extremely useful as supplementary material. It really helped clear up any confusion I felt during lecture.

u/BTownPhD · 13 pointsr/chemistry

This book got me through my sr capstone and grad school.

Anybody else ever think of complex nmr as Sunday paper puzzles?

u/Platypuskeeper · 12 pointsr/chemistry

I've got that one (gets it off the shelf) It's "The Prentice Hall Molecular Model set for Organic Chemistry". Here it is on Amazon. It's pretty pricey (aren't they always?), but much better than those ones with the plastic straws.

u/ExFiler · 12 pointsr/pics

If any of you are interested in learning more about the table, I highly enjoyed this book

u/esqueletohrs · 11 pointsr/Biochemistry

My favorite science-related leisure reading is Derek Lowe's blog In The Pipeline. He covers new developments in chemistry/biology, the drug discovery industry, and occasionally some other stuff. He writes it in a way would be interesting to anyone that like chemistry and biology regardless of their level of education. I always look forward to reading it over lunch.


If you are looking for a book, The Disappearing Spoon is a great set of true short stories about chemistry that is a really fun read.

u/auntbabe · 10 pointsr/chemistry

I took a grad course on the history of chemistry and we used The Development of Modern Chemistry by Ihde.
Another comprehensive (but style-wise a little hard to read) is
Crucibles:The Story of Chemistry from Ancient Alchemy to Nuclear Fission.

I have yet to read The Disappearing Spoon, a pop-sci read on the history and stories behind discoveries of elements.

u/linehan23 · 10 pointsr/aerospace

/u/another_user_name posted this list a while back. Actual aerospace textbooks are towards the bottom but you'll need a working knowledge of the prereqs first.




1-4) Calculus, Stewart -- This is a very common book and I felt it was ok, but there's mixed opinions about it. Try to get a cheap, used copy.

1-4) Calculus, A New Horizon, Anton -- This is highly valued by many people, but I haven't read it.

1-4) Essential Calculus With Applications, Silverman -- Dover book.

More discussion in this reddit thread.

Linear Algebra

3) Linear Algebra and Its Applications,Lay -- I had this one in school. I think it was decent.

3) Linear Algebra, Shilov -- Dover book.

Differential Equations

4) An Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations, Coddington -- Dover book, highly reviewed on Amazon.

G) Partial Differential Equations, Evans

G) Partial Differential Equations For Scientists and Engineers, Farlow

More discussion here.

Numerical Analysis

5) Numerical Analysis, Burden and Faires


  1. General Chemistry, Pauling is a good, low cost choice. I'm not sure what we used in school.


    2-4) Physics, Cutnel -- This was highly recommended, but I've not read it.


    Introductory Programming

    Programming is becoming unavoidable as an engineering skill. I think Python is a strong introductory language that's got a lot of uses in industry.

  2. Learning Python, Lutz

  3. Learn Python the Hard Way, Shaw -- Gaining popularity, also free online.

    Core Curriculum:


  4. Introduction to Flight, Anderson


  5. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Fox, Pritchard McDonald

  6. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, Anderson

  7. Theory of Wing Sections, Abbot and von Doenhoff -- Dover book, but very good for what it is.

  8. Aerodynamics for Engineers, Bertin and Cummings -- Didn't use this as the text (used Anderson instead) but it's got more on stuff like Vortex Lattice Methods.

  9. Modern Compressible Flow: With Historical Perspective, Anderson

  10. Computational Fluid Dynamics, Anderson

    Thermodynamics, Heat transfer and Propulsion:

  11. Introduction to Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer, Cengel

  12. Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion, Hill and Peterson

    Flight Mechanics, Stability and Control

    5+) Flight Stability and Automatic Control, Nelson

    5+)[Performance, Stability, Dynamics, and Control of Airplanes, Second Edition](, Pamadi) -- I gather this is better than Nelson

  13. Airplane Aerodynamics and Performance, Roskam and Lan

    Engineering Mechanics and Structures:

    3-4) Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics, Hibbeler

  14. Mechanics of Materials, Hibbeler

  15. Mechanical Vibrations, Rao

  16. Practical Stress Analysis for Design Engineers: Design & Analysis of Aerospace Vehicle Structures, Flabel

    6-8) Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicle Structures, Bruhn -- A good reference, never really used it as a text.

  17. An Introduction to the Finite Element Method, Reddy

    G) Introduction to the Mechanics of a Continuous Medium, Malvern

    G) Fracture Mechanics, Anderson

    G) Mechanics of Composite Materials, Jones

    Electrical Engineering

  18. Electrical Engineering Principles and Applications, Hambley

    Design and Optimization

  19. Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design, Nicolai and Carinchner

  20. Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, Raymer

  21. Engineering Optimization: Theory and Practice, Rao

    Space Systems

  22. Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications, Vallado

  23. Introduction to Space Dynamics, Thomson -- Dover book

  24. Orbital Mechanics, Prussing and Conway

  25. Fundamentals of Astrodynamics, Bate, Mueller and White

  26. Space Mission Analysis and Design, Wertz and Larson
u/egyptianwoah · 10 pointsr/chemistry

This is the book that was used in my physical chemistry class. I enjoyed it quite a bit as it is written very well and the practice problems help quite a bit. The book is extremely thorough when going through all of the derivations of equations and give pretty good logical explanations while going through the problems as long as you understand how the algebra and calculus works. The biggest con with it however is that the figures which go along with some of the book can be quite difficult to understand the first time you are looking at them. The book can also be quite dry at times. Because of this, I had also picked up the Atkins book because I found it used for cheap on amazon. The Atkins book is a bit less dry and the figures are way more pleasant to look at, however it seems to be a little less in depth than the McQuarrie book.

No matter which book you choose to go with just be aware that the class can be extremely difficult for people and the most important thing is to make sure you are putting a lot of time into the class. It might be worthwhile to find a decent calculus review and to go through it before taking the class if you feel at all lacking in that department. If you do this you will succeed and possibly even really enjoy the class. I was incredibly nervous going in to the class but it turned out to be one of my favorite classes I took my entire undergrad.

u/lisasgreat · 9 pointsr/chemistry

I found that Clayden was an excellent resource to learn organic chemistry and get an intuition/deeper understanding of why reactions proceed in the directions that they do. I did not find the typical textbooks that are used in classes, such as Organic Chemistry by Bruice to be nearly as useful, as the emphasis was on covering a wide range of reactions and not focusing on what they have in common.

I would not recommend one of the classic higher-level bibles, such as March's Advanced Organic Chemistry to you at this stage.

If you plan on continuing to study organic chemistry after this first course, I would recommend that you take a good course (or multiple courses) in physical organic chemistry. You will develop a much better understanding of reaction mechanisms and chemical kinetics if you do. Good texts for this field are Carey and Sundberg's Advanced Organic Chemistry Parts A and B, and Anslyn and Dougherty's Modern Physical Organic Chemistry.

u/purplehlol2 · 9 pointsr/APStudents

This is a good recap, I used it and cannot recommend it enough. The Barron's book for chem seems to also help people, but I haven't used it.

u/toastytoastie · 9 pointsr/premed

Organic Chemistry as a Second Language literally was the reason I aced orgo.

u/TheRainbowpill93 · 9 pointsr/premed

Organic Chemistry as a Second language.

Learn it

Live it

Love it

u/murakaminutmeg · 8 pointsr/chemistry

Clayden, Greeves, Warren, and Wothers Organic Chemistry

I'm a second year Grad Student and this is still one of the best I've read for reference or for learning source.

u/Y_pestis · 8 pointsr/biology

just some of my standard answers.

The Disappearing Spoon- yes, it's chemistry but I found it very interesting.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA- if you have a good background in genetics you might already know many of these stories. Read the table of contents first.

New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers- disease based biology. There is a follow up book if it turns out you like it.

Stiff- more than you wanted to know about dead bodies.

And by the same author but space based... Packing for Mars.

I hope these help... Cheers.

u/2adn · 8 pointsr/OrganicChemistry

You need to work backwards, figuring out what bonds you can make from two smaller pieces, then continuing to work backwards from those pieces until you get back to something commercially available with 4 carbons or fewer, or cyclohexene. I learned a lot about doing that years ago from the original edition of this book:

u/kristofvagyok · 8 pointsr/chemistry

Classics in Total Synthesis: Targets, Strategies, Methods Paperback
by K. C. Nicolaou

Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach Paperback – December
by Stuart Warren

And the best collection of total synthesis what is found on the internet:

u/SurlyTurtle · 7 pointsr/books

The Disappearing Spoon is a Brysonesque look at the history of the Periodic Table.

u/babydocdoc20 · 7 pointsr/premed

"Organic Chemistry as a Second Language" .... got a 3.7 in O Chem using this book. You definitely have to do a bunch of problems though.

u/tikael · 6 pointsr/AskPhysics

Chemistry is largely based around what the electrons in the outmost shell are doing, and those shells are described by quantum mechanics. So chemistry had this organizational structure built up around experiment then quantum mechanics comes in and gives a full description of why those experiments worked the way they did. In addition to be much harder to work with than chemical laws, quantum mechanics comes with a lot of baggage that people at the time were uneasy about. It meant we lived in a much more probablistic universe than some people wanted to admit, and that the building blocks of the universe were chaotic to some degree. If you are interested in this I suggest checking out The Disappearing Spoon, as it does go into how chemistry and physics intersected.

u/elnombre91 · 6 pointsr/chemistry

I think this is the one I have, it's definitely by Warren anyway.


This is the one I have, you might have to shop around to find it a bit cheaper. I think I ended up with the Indian edition or something.

u/sjb-2812 · 6 pointsr/chemistry

Warren (and Wyatt? I've not really seen the updated book) is pretty good

Newer edition at e.g.

u/captaincaed · 6 pointsr/chemistry

I'd recommend Zumdahl's Chemistry ( as a good introductory text. It's relatively straightforward for someone approaching the subject outside of class.

I'd ask you to remember also, Chemistry is a messy subject, it just isn't as concise as mathematics by nature. If the text isn't to your taste it is probably a reflection on the haphazard nature of the subject, not the author.

That said, if you want the original gangster, old school text, Pauling's Chemistry is the die that all modern chem texts have been cast from, and it's cheap, printed by Dover in their classic style (

u/FlorianPicasso · 6 pointsr/kratom
u/mamallama · 5 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I bought 6 books at the book fair. I wish i could have gotten more, but i had to demonstrate some self control. haha. we got a Ninjago book, an angry birds star wars book, a cute book called Otis and one called Ten Little Caterpillars, but the two that I am most excited about are Exclamation Mark and The Elements.

PLUS! its a beautifully rainy spring day, so its perfect for reading!!

u/pqppqpqqpqppqpqq · 5 pointsr/chemistry
  1. I didn't dive head first, I was pre-med when I entered college. I thought I liked bio because yeah science is cool. Then I took organic chemistry and realized what a profound and interesting subject chemistry is. Switched to become a chemistry major and now I hate bio because it's too fundamental.

  2. Sorry, I did good at the start. Chemistry aligns with my thinking (concept based) than biology did (memory based) and so I just excelled a lot more.

  3. Mixed reviews. Almost everyone I talk to either loves it or hates it. Those who hate it are only taking chemistry because they were like me (pre-med, biology) and had to take it for requirements. They never invested the time to think about the concepts and how everything played together. They only thought "yeah yeah, memorize this and that, do well on the test and become a doctor." Those who love it, I can have serious conversations with them about reactions and research (but mostly talk about illegal drug synthesis because let's face it breaking bad is awesome). Also, do not get a masters in chemistry (or biology even). It's a waste; see next point.

  4. In Chemistry, it's PhD "or-go" home. ^^hehe All job offers that are open for a masters are open for a bachelors, and all offers that require a phd do not take masters. There are chemistry jobs, entry level, for bachelors but really you're going to want a PhD in the field. Otherwise you're doing grunt-work. (wouldn't you rather be doing paper-work?!) But seriously, more opportunities and more money if you get a PhD. And no masters!

  5. Read the textbooks. Seriously. Idc what student you were in high school, you're going to read the textbook and invest time into it. In my organic class, 3 Hours a chapter for me (My pace: 30 pages per chapter, 6 minutes a page), but go more if you need. My undergrad used this textbook and I'm not going to lie, it's actually a really good read. I recommend this over whatever crappy textbook your teacher might require for your class; it's extremely thorough, it's honest, and it's kinda humorous at times. READ THE TEXTBOOKS!!!

  6. If you want, you can buy a copy of the orgo textbook I recommended and read through a bit of it to get a feel of what youre getting into. It would be a huge time commitment to actually learn anything; instead, read it to see if you can (there's a PDF of the 1st edition floating around somehwere). You may not be interested in orgo, but other things (kinetics, thermo, equilibrium, acid/base, etc. all discussed in the book) are in all of your main classes as well. Orgo is just the biggie that makes/breaks students.

  7. A deep understanding of the theory is essential for any branch of chemistry. If you do not understand the fundamental concepts, you are not a chemist. The hard part is that there are no set-in-stone rules in chemistry like there are in biology or physics. Almost everything has exceptions and you have to understand why they aren't really an exception.

  8. Organic is cool because you have an applicable/practical outlet for the chemistry you learn. Yeah yeah you learn about bonds and MO theory and kinetics/thermodynamics but where do you apply it all? Organic is the common answer because it's in your shampoos, your beauty products, your food preservatives blah blah... Physical chemistry is cool if you like calculus/physics. Biochemistry is ehh I know some friends who like it but I never thought random protein stuff was that cool. Other branches: nuclear, medicinal, polymer, inorganic, analytical, green...find one that's cool for you!

  9. I worked under a CE and a chemist, both in making drugs, so this may help explain how they're different and what you'd be more interested in.

    The CE mass produced your typical OTC drugs for pharmacies like Walgreen. He made literally millions of pills a day with fancy machines which--as the boss of a small company--he didn't even operate. In fact I don't even remember him doing anything CE technical, just doing phone calls and stuff. Anyways because drugs are a hot industry, he made serious bank. Millionaire, easily. So much money in the field, not a lot of workers.

    But IMO, relatively boring. The chemist on the other hand was making NEW drugs. Never before used, never before tested. He used his vast knowledge of chemistry theory to predict and answer questions like "How would the molecule's function be different if it was less polar or more soluble?" and stuff like that. Then he'd put the theory in practice by making the molecule and testing it in vitro or something. Makes waaay less money. No hot wife or condo in Hawaii. But much more satisfying and requires much more knowledge.

    Every job is different, everybody is different. Disclaimer, experiences are not typical. Whatever you decide to do, you can easily make it less boring by being an exciting person.
u/rivercityreading · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

Kean borrows from Mendeleev, the Father of the Period Table, and structures his book based on the table itself. Using it as a map, each chapter is centered on a group of common elements - "The Poisoner's Corridor", "The Galapagos of the Periodic Table" - and peeks at some aspect of their backstory. Where one chapter examines the competition between scientists to find a specific element, another exposes the history of those used as medicine, giving the book a great sense of variety. I wrote a little bit more about the book on my blog.

Purchase: The Disappearing Spoon on Amazon

u/umibozu · 5 pointsr/Damnthatsinteresting

This is a great book on why this happens

and about a million other remarkable trivia

u/tyzon05 · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

If you're into chemistry, or even slightly interested in the subject, I'd highly recommend picking up a copy of The Disappearing Spoon.

It's like a year's worth of chemistry TIL's in a book, with full explanations and anecdotes that will put you on the floor in your own personal chemistry-laughter coma.

u/fuyunoyoru · 5 pointsr/chemistry

I taught myself general chemistry in high school using Pauling's General Chemistry text. It's a whopping $11.52 on Amazon right now.

There is an electronic version on iTunes for $20, if your students would prefer that.

u/G-Brain · 5 pointsr/chemistry

McQuarrie is quite well-regarded. I like it.

u/halfshellheroes · 5 pointsr/Eugene

I think more than just an issue with simplicity or difficulty this is a matter or feasibility. A grad student could easily get their dissertation doing this project for just one molecule. However if you're serious about this let me give you some advice.

  • When I say decomposition pathway, I mean physically what are the molecules in your battery doing in order to produce a current or energy? This will require a large understanding of electrochem and physics as well as an exceedingly up to date understanding of material sciences in the physical chemistry field. I recommend start by reading publications on current "next gen batteries" and see where that takes you. If you go to the UO science library you can use their computers to go through the literature. I'd recommend reading Journal of Chemical Physics, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, and/or Physical Review Letters

  • Drop this notion of a permutation set, or at least limit it to a molecule class (with specific allowed elements or lengths). Unless you set up exceedingly smart parameters all you will get is 99% of your data being for molecules that absolutely can't be used for batteries. For starters, do you want to find organic compounds that combust like gasoline as a source for fuel? I think you more likely want something like a Lithium ion cell which would require you to look at transition metals. Be less concerned about being able to make a set of 10^50 molecules and instead focus on how (from a general molecule motif) would you generate energy in current form. How much energy do you get from a redox reaction of Li in acid versus a complex of (Li)_n. An added complexity is that the order in which you arrange them will also change the bonding. This isn't just, will it make a linear chain or will it fork, or will it be circular; this is going to involve analyzing how the electrons interact on an orbital level. This work is basically probing the question of how catalyst work (an answer to which would undoubtedly get you a Nobel prize).

  • Being that you will most likely need to do some type of oxidation reduction reaction (you'll see a lot of excitonic processes currently being used for energy) to generate free electrons this guarantees that you will need to do ab initio quantum calculations. In order to do that you have to basically derive the energy of losing however many electrons in a specific manner in a vacuum at 0 K. HF will NOT cut it. You will need to use several high leveled theory basis sets and compare the results. This means you will not only need to understand mathematically how these calculations are done, but also understand quantum mechanically how best to represent poorly defined things such as single charge states, ionization, and far more complicated advanced topics.

  • Look into Density Functional Theory (DFT). For reactions that mix between classical and quantum (semi-empirical) it's the current standard way to go. That being said, this is not a technique that can be generalized to any molecule. Every simulation is exceedingly specific to every case.

  • You will need computers. Lots of computers. Either you build your own super computer and drain your bank account funding the electricity (you will need to be a billionaire to do this) or you do what any sane theoretical chemist would do and apply for grants to some of the XSEDE super computers. Keep in mind the grant cycle just ended so you'll have to wait until next year to even begin applying and you'll need to convince way tougher scientists than me. If you're planning on doing semi-empirical and especially if you plan to do any ab initio calculations you will need a lot of computational resources. Try playing around with Gaussian (g09) available for free on most linux machines to get an idea of how long these calculations take and how much more processing power and memory you'll need.

    Here are some books and resources that will catch you up McQuarrie, Cramer, Marcus Theory, and all things Mukamel for electron transfer.

    Good luck!

    [EDIT]: As far as temperature goes, that's a concern more so for the effects on a classical level, so you need a MD or semi-empirical system with a good forcefield defined.
u/BandWarrior · 5 pointsr/premed

These two books helped me through Ochem: Organic Chemistry as a Second Language Vol. 1 and Vol 2. The guy also has a very good text book that comes with an absolutely ENORMOUS answer book that has every single problem in the textbook mapped out. I don't recommend the Wiley Plus/Orion online homework system thing, but these are great resources.

u/pugpy_dawg · 5 pointsr/premed

This is like a little workbook that explains the material and has review questions throughout! I worked through this before my semester of ochem started and I felt like the semester was a breeeeeze. Highly recommend, and my professor asked what I was using to study and she said she loved this book too!

u/iris1406 · 4 pointsr/chemistry

The general textbook I use is Clayden and I've found it really comprehensive - it weighs (and costed) something awful, but there you go.

For specific topics, I use a variety of smaller primers - generally textbooks that use a programmed approach, as that's what suits my learning style.

u/almosthere0327 · 4 pointsr/askscience

I will recommend The Disappearing Spoon if you have a serious interest. It was a fantastic read and gives a brief account of the history or relevance of each (most?) element and the race to discover and name them.

u/xamueljones · 4 pointsr/rational

How about The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean. They are great books about chemistry and genetics.

u/dwindling · 4 pointsr/femalefashionadvice

The New Kings of Nonfiction is a collection of longform journalism edited by This American Life's Ira Glass.

I'm currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It's really interesting, here's part of the synopsis:

>Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

>Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

The Disappearing Spoon is about fascinating stories from the history of the periodic table of elements.

u/tgfenske · 4 pointsr/chemistry

Don't be put off with the general chemistry concepts. While they can be interesting, I found chemistry extremely boring until I started learning organic chemistry. Try and mix in some of the early organic videos once you have a good feel for how atoms can come together to form molecules. There is a lot of general concepts to learn but they are important.

Also I hear that Linus Pauling's book is a good place to start if your not going the traditional way.

u/alterationx10 · 4 pointsr/chemistry

If you are looking for a project for you and a programming friend to work on, the I suggest to you "Modern Quantum Chemistry" by Szabo and Ostlund. It isn't really modern any more, but it teaches you the fundamentals of setting up a Hartree-Fock calculation, which is a good "character building" exercise for a computational chemist. There is even a sample program in the back of the book (it is in Fortran). I'd recommend you and your friend port it over to C (or some other language that is familiar to one of you), as a project. The book can be had for ~$15

u/aossey · 4 pointsr/chemistry

We used McQuarrie and Simon and I loved it. Not sure if the fact that I was a ChemE major makes a difference in my preferred textbook, but I thought it was great.

It also has a solution guide that I found to be helpful many times for learning how to approach problems.

u/jdcl · 4 pointsr/chemistry

Don't be too nervous, it's the biggest weed out class and gets a bad reputation for this alone. Perhaps many students who like the idea of chemistry and are not comfortable in math are talking. The fact you're even trying to get ahead means you're the type of student that will be okay. Think of it like a math class for chemistry, outside practice is required.

I can only speak for the thermo semester, I'm finishing that up right now and doing quantum in the fall. Brush up on calc III partial derivatives, specifically with fractions. You'll probably dive head first into gas law partials if thermo is your first semester. They're not even that complex, you just have to be methodical/neat when doing them. Also integration, look up the derivations of root mean square, mean speed etc. If your'e iffy on integration, practice those too.


Resources that really helped me:

  • MIT's website has decent free notes that breakdown core concepts if your professor lacks in the detail department.
  • This youtube channel is gold for pchem/physics, just use the channel search function since he has so many.
  • I bought the McQuarrie book ( and it helps in some areas that Atkins lacked.
  • Little known but golden book for an undergrad, Essentials of Physical Chemistry by Don Shillady. Really helped me in the beginning. He writes it for undergrad level knowledge and is able to explain in plain English what the intuition should be, mathematically as well.

    If the Atkin's book doesn't cut it, usually another university's website will have plenty of material that explains it in other words, just need to Google it.


    As mentioned, it's a math class for chemistry. Go to the back of the book and solve all different types of problems. Write down on the paper, in english, what a step means if you don't understand initially why it happens. I used Chegg to backwards engineer most problems, wrote down The Why, and then owned the problem solving approach for the future.


    I only have one more test/ACS final left, I have over a 100% average right now and an A in lab while taking 21 credits with research, tutoring etcetc everyone will have an excuse why it sucks. I'm not inherently good at math either, I just practice. It's all doable, you just need to work some on your own and ask your professor a million questions. They will likely be so smart they don't realize they skip things. They may also be happy someone gives a damn in that class.

    Sorry for the long response, but I hope this helps. I often feel dragged down by my peers complaining or instilling fear for classes, just do your own thing.
u/iBangTurtles · 4 pointsr/premed

Get this:

Ochem 1 was pretty memorization and concept heavy. Not much to do other than practice and get concepts down.

For Ochem 2, do a lot of practice problems until you see the patterns. Treat it as math rather than chemistry. Each reaction is an equation that can be applied to specific situations. Learn to see those situations and apply the equation to it. Get help when you need it, go to office hours for the hell of it, and stay on top of things. And you dont really need to memorize the reactions. If you know the reagents, just remember that nucleophile attacks electrophile, e source to e sink. Just think and look.

The class itself isnt that hard. Theres nothing special about it. Its just chemistry. Go in with a good attitude rather than thinking its the hardest subject in the world and you will do just fine.

u/PeopleAreSoFickle · 4 pointsr/chemhelp

If there are no Orgo tutors at your university, there are plenty of resources online. I personally used ChemistNate and The Organic Chemistry Tutor for help when I was taking Orgo. Also, make use of your professor's office hours. If you cannot make them, email them to make an appointment.
Also, the way you described acids/bases as proton donators and acceptors is the Brønsted–Lowry definition of acid bases. You should start to consider the Lewis Acid Base theory, which revolves around electrons. Again, ChemistNate has a good video about this.
Lastly, if you are reading the chapter 100 times and you are still not understanding it, it may not be written well for you. Try going to your university library and checking out other organic chemistry textbooks and read the relevant chapters/section that you are studying in class. And be sure to practice with the end of chapter problems. I personally recommend Klein's Organic Chemistry As a Second Language.

u/KalEl1232 · 4 pointsr/chemistry

Classes to consider should include:

  • Math: up through partial differential equations. Many undergraduate programs in chemistry are happy to let you stop after taking multivariate calculus. But to get into the meat of quantum, PDEs is suggested.

  • Chemistry: As /u/Kalivha said, computational chemistry, spectroscopy, solid state, and statistical mechanics. I'd go a step further and add inorganic chemistry to the list. You'll get a good smattering of MO theory, crystal lattice theory, and the like.

  • Physics: a more intense variety of quantum mechanics would be offered in the physics department, so do check into this if you are semi-serious.

  • Good texts: McQuarrie is a gold standard. My personal favorite is Atkins and de Paula's Physical Chemistry. They go into - in some places, at least - absurd detail, which tends to help people. For inorganic, look into Miessler and Tarr's Inorganic Chemistry.

    Happy hunting!
u/ionic_gold · 4 pointsr/chemistry

This book by Theodore Gray is super good. It is one of the books that sparked my interest in chemistry to begin with.

u/Audrion · 4 pointsr/kratom

Yes it does BIND, holy shit, if you haven't read a scientific book/studies on it then why do you pretend to know what your talking about? It's common sense it binds as it's well-accepted that kratom is physically addictive (see BIND)

u/bifftradwell · 3 pointsr/WTF

I'm sure it's the quality of the illustrations that really make the book.

u/jlb8 · 3 pointsr/OrganicChemistry

It's hard to say without more specifics. The idea is usually that you propose a mechanism and look for evidence that will prove that way.



\^ covers most of the basics

u/chicken_fried_steak · 3 pointsr/askscience

Them, plus Janeway's Immunobiology, Carey and Sundberg's Advanced Organic Chemistry part A and part B, Anslyn's PhysOrg, Ptashne's A Genetic Switch, Gilbert's Developmental Biology, Fersht's Structure and Mechanism in Protein Science and the NEB Catalog form a reference shelf for Biochem/Chemical Biology that I don't suspect will need updating for another decade or two.

EDIT: Except, of course, for switching out the NEB catalog every year for the new edition.

u/Gonegirl27 · 3 pointsr/exjw

This is one of my favorite books. I have a bookshelf hard cover copy, and a carry around soft cover copy. Nobody escapes looking at it when I'm out and about.

u/dude215dude · 3 pointsr/kratom

There's a professor at Temple Univerity in Philadelphia who wrote what is considered the first extensive text on Kratom as an "opioid from a non-opioid source" it's on Amazon here if you want to check it out, it seems pretty expensive though:

I've been meaning to read it myself, it's also the same guy that helped synthesize Tramadol.

I really like the the term "opioid from a non-opioid source" for some reason, lol.

u/nbx909 · 3 pointsr/chemistry
u/luthorhuss · 3 pointsr/Damnthatsinteresting

So if you find this even mildly interesting, you must read “The Disappearing Spoon”. It’s basically the stories behind the elements and their discovery. Before you yawn and move along, it reads like a badass Indiana Jones novel and is a page turner. The name is from Gallium which was used in a tea party and shaped like spoons. When the patrons stirred their tea the spoon disappeared and everyone was delighted (health concerns?). Anyways, you’ll never look at elements the same way:

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

u/Ikkis · 3 pointsr/books
u/blindtranche · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

A great book that mentions this and many other interesting facts regarding discoveries is The disappearing Spoon.

It covers the discovery of each of the elements in the periodic table. It is truly a fascinating collection of stories.

See a gallium spoon melt. It would seem to disappear in black coffee.

u/RaymonBartar · 3 pointsr/chemistry

Can third Clayden. If it's specifically synthesis you want to learn about Warren's Syntheisis: The Disconnection Approach and the accompanying work book are good.

u/Konundrum · 3 pointsr/LSD

> I doubt that a psychedelic experience would spark or fuel interest in science for most - more likely the arts, if they used before deciding on their career or path of study.

I often hear psychonauts giving lip service to the sciences, but seldom see them follow through on their proclaimed interest. For me, trying lsd really did reinvigorate my interest in science, most specifically chemistry. The first thing I took away from the experience was how apparent it became that everything I ingest has an effect on the chemistry of my body and subsequently my physical and mental experiences, even if by 2nd or 3rd order effects. I picked up a copy of Linus Pauling's General Chemistry as a starting point, then read How to Live Longer and Feel Better and have since greatly improved the efficacy of my diet in supporting a robust mind and body. In retrospect, revelations that I've had regarding how to feel and live better seem like they should have been obvious... but at times before I had really given things reasonable thought I recall being quite overwhelmed and confused. I suppose one could say that the strength of the acid experience snapped me out of living in the world of ideas and renewed my awareness of the interdependence of my subjective "inner world" and my interaction with the objective "outer world".

u/tangentc · 3 pointsr/chemistry

I just want to second "General Chemistry" by Linus Pauling that /u/kslusherplantman suggested. It's a very readable classic that will do a lot for your understanding. Also, it's like 15 euros:

Personally I'm kinda ambivalent on the programming issue. It's useful to differing degrees depending on what you do. That said, unless you get into hardcore synthesis, it's probably going to come up at least a few times in a career. On the other hand, unless you get into computational chemistry, it's not going to come up all that much. If you really want to learn one to get ready, learn python. Most stuff you do will be data processing related outside of more serious computational work, and python should be more than up to any of those tasks. It's also generally marketable if you decide to study something else and easy enough to learn that you won't waste too much time if you don't end up ever using it.

Other than that? Just relax. Graduating from German secondary school (Gymnasium?) you're probably fine mathematically. The rest of it will come as you take your classes. It's great that you're enthusiastic, but right now you probably want to focus on the non-academic changes in your life so that you don't get overwhelmed on that front when school starts.

u/Clan_McGregor · 3 pointsr/chemistry

If you've a mathematical bent, Szabo and Ostlund gives a good overview of modern quantum chemistry. Less than $15, and much more readable than most quantum books out there (I'm looking at you, Atkins)

u/Paul_Dirac_ · 3 pointsr/programming

To get into quantum chemistry(wavefunction based, non-DFT), I can recommend:

Modern Quantum Chemistry It is quite old (and is missing most of the modern methods and going in depth on some outdated methods) but explains the basics better than any other resource I have found.

And the Slides from Klopper et al. :

chapter 1

chapter 2

chapter 3

chapter 4

chapter 5

chapter 6

chapter 7

I believe you will find, that your program is not a good fit for most problems in quantum chemistry.

u/RichardTenenbaum · 3 pointsr/APStudents

I've been using AP Chemistry Crash Course to self study. The Princeton Review Cracking the AP Chemistry Exam 2015 edition also got good reviews. If you have a textbook I would recommend really going through it and doing all of the chapter questions.

u/Mastian91 · 3 pointsr/math

Similarly, McQuarrie Physical Chemistry may be helpful.

At my school, pchem was divided into a first semester which covered the quantum chemistry of individual atoms/molecules, and a second semester which used some of these quantum ideas (but mostly statistics and thermo) to talk about the statistical mechanics of collections of particles. I believe that McQuarrie's Physical Chemistry covers both, but note that the "mathematical review" sections are just brief interludes. For a more thorough treatment of math methods for physical scientists, consider the Mary Boas book. This book mostly focuses on physics applications, but from my experience in pchem, I would argue that it's just a very "applied" or "specific" version of quantum (or thermal, E&M, etc.) physics.

Also, for quantum chem, it is of utmost importance to be familiar with matrices, vectors, and ideally some of the more fancy portions of a first course in linear algebra, like bases and diagonalization. Although the relative importance of calculus/DE vs. linear algebra might depend on whether your course follows a "Schrodinger" vs. "Heisenberg" (not the Walter White one) approach, respectively.

u/coniform · 3 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

For physical chemistry, I recommend [this big red brick book]( by McQuarrie and Simon. For catalysis, I like this book by Kolasinski.

u/Quadra_Slam · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Honestly, if you are willing to spend a bit of money, David Klein's Organic Chemistry as a Second Language is concise, fun to read, and gives a deep understanding of orgo. I highly recommend it, and it was a huge help to me when I took it. You may want to start with the first and buy the second if the first appeals to you.

Semester 1

Semester 2

u/orma42 · 3 pointsr/chemistry

Flashcards. Reaction on the front, mechanism on the back.

*If that doesn't work, this book saved my life in undergrad.

u/cailex · 3 pointsr/college

I took Ochem I and II, and I remember my professor recommending "Organic Chemistry as a Second Language," by Klein:

Note that there are separate versions for Ochem I and II.
Which one are you taking? Is it the only class you are having trouble with?

u/brutalkitten · 3 pointsr/chemistry

Just finished my first semester of o chem! A few tips:

  • It's definitely not as bad as you hear, especially if you like chemistry.

  • The only real prep I would suggest is make sure you have concepts from gen chem down pretty well, it will make your life a breeze in o chem.
    • IMFs, orbital hybridization, acid-base equilibrium (Le Chat's principle, etc.), and bond polarity are some of the main things you'll be applying/considering

      In terms of the actual class...

  • I used this book for a supplement. It's extremely good at simplifying and helping you practice things like stereochemistry and seeing the trends happening in the reactions.

  • Form a small, effective study group if you can! I'm very particular about my study groups, and in this class it's imperative your time is spent wisely--so pick other students who want to do well and won't get distracted.

    Good luck!
u/the_planck_constant · 3 pointsr/EngineeringStudents

I've found David Klein's Organic Chemistry as a Second Language to be an indispensable resource.

I used the second edition, but I would imagine the third is still up to par.

u/diazetine · 3 pointsr/chemistry

Try Organic Chemistry As a Second Language: First Semester Topics by Klein and the 2nd semester topics. Crisp fundamentals review.

u/LSAT_Ninja_Tutor · 3 pointsr/HunterCollege

Absolutely not! I have tutored people for O-chem for several years. Taking the course during the regular semester is enough of a challenge. To be successful in O-chem, you need to use a lot of higher level thinking. It's just not enough time to absorb the information. You need to understand it so that you can then apply it. Don't torture yourself, unless there is some reason that you absolutely have to take it over the summer.

I think it would be a much wiser idea to solidify your general chemistry knowledge in certain pertinent areas (even if you received As in gen chem). Read Get Ready for Organic Chemistry. Not having a solid grasp on these concepts before starting is what causes many to crash and burn. Having a solid grasp on these concepts sets you up for success. Once you fully understand the topics in that book, start reading Organic Chemistry As a Second Language to get a head start.

u/earth23 · 2 pointsr/chemistry

Here is the best book for learning the basics of reaction mechanisms: Pushing Electrons

u/Ducky9202 · 2 pointsr/UniversityofReddit

Strongly suggest this study guide Honestly this really helped me get through my year of O Chem, especially the last quarter when I was starting to get rusty and needed a review for a comprehensive test.

u/FakeShark · 2 pointsr/chemistry

For organic chemistry, this was my textbook:
(There's a newer edition available now, but you can get this one used for about $11)

It's a pretty awesome book. Explains degree level organic chemistry very clearly. Iirc, it covers the basic chemistry concepts you'd need to understand as well, such as orbital structures etc.

u/mgberlin · 2 pointsr/chemistry

The keys to chemistry are mostly understanding chemistry. Get him an organic chemistry book; most of it will be over his head right now, but as he grows intellectually he'll be able to conquer more and more. It can't really hurt to have around anyway. My favorite is:

u/Evaporiser · 2 pointsr/chemistry

To understand organic synthesis you need to understand organic chem and spectroscopy methods, so here, this book is the best on the market in my opinion and starts with basic reactivity and spectro methods and ends in hetrocyclic synthetic methods, protecting groups and such things. So, here you go! Oxford Press

u/MarkLFC · 2 pointsr/chemistry

In the UK the standard textbook is Organic Chemistry by Clayden et al - it is absolutely brilliant and I highly recommend it.

u/FalconX88 · 2 pointsr/chemistry

I've never really used books except for organic Chemistry.

For organic Chemistry I first used this (Prof used it in the lecture):

which is terrible, don't use that!

Many people say this is pretty good but on the other hand Vollhardt is teaching at Berkeley and it's just a translation which brings me to the point: most good german text books are just translated english ones.

I personally like the Warren but I'm using it in english, not sure if there's a german version but imo the best basic org.chem book.

A really good book written by a german is this, I guess that one is translated in english too. But it's for an advanced level and there it can easily blow your mind ;-)

u/piroblast · 2 pointsr/chemistry

U can get it here but it cost 65$. What i like about that kit is that you can use a sharpie on the white hydrogene to do the CIP configuration

u/senatorpjt · 2 pointsr/chemistry

This one has flexible bonds, you can even make tetrahedrane with it.

u/Captain_Awersome · 2 pointsr/chemistry

I like the Prentice Hall Modeling Kit and have two of them for my modeling desires. Unfortunately, the price on Amazon seems to have gone up quite a bit (used to be $35). The size of the atoms versus bonds is perfect, and the models are very sturdy. For example, I regularly use a model of cyclohexane as a back scratcher/massager.

The only downside is that the bonds are a little tight initially. I've found that troublesome bonds can be gently (gently!) chewed to become perfectly fit for the atoms.

u/HardCorwen · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

"The Disappearing Spoon!"

It's a wonderful and engrossing read about all the elements from the periodic table! What each one is and does, where they were found/discovered, what for and how they are used in the world today.

I would say many of the stories about many of the elements beginnings in society are so entertaining that they could be turned into a film!

This book is engrossing.

u/IvDrago · 2 pointsr/secretsanta

Hey, girl in chemistry here. First I wanted to comment on the beaker glasses idea. If you do get something like that, go with a beaker mug and try to pick something with thicker glass. Regular beakers heat up easily and if she pours hot beverage, it will get too hot to hold in a few minutes even if there is a handle (this was tested out in a field by many chemists). Does she like to read? If so, get her The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean ( It's a book full of true, fun and sometimes weird stories about many elements. Any chemist would appreciate that. Also, anything periodic table will be appreciated, in addition to shower curtain idea there are fridge magnets. T-shirts are tough since most of them are really cheesy. Recently I came across this one which is not bad Anything with moles and avogadro will do, example Can't really think of anything else right now, but if you want to run a specific idea by me, feel free to do it.

u/Yarjka · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Invisible Gorilla - about how our perception and memory can deceive us.

The Disappearing Spoon - stories about the periodic table of elements.

u/The_Ineffable_One · 2 pointsr/books

You beat me to it. As soon as I saw the question, I thought of that book. Another good one might be The Disappearing Spoon:

u/Kracatoan · 2 pointsr/chemistry

Speaking as a UK 3rd year undergraduate, Warren's Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach and it's accompanying workbook are exactly what you are looking for - they're simply excellent.

u/tsub · 2 pointsr/chemistry

The "standard" method for designing a synthetic route to a new target is to apply retrosynthetic analysis - Corey's book (linked in the wikipedia article) is the original text on the subject, but I've heard good things about [Warren's book] ( as an introduction.

u/fuji518 · 2 pointsr/chemistry

I took an entire course focused on this topic. A link to the textbook we used is below. It is an excellent book that explains each analytical technique as well as how to interpret the resulting spectral data.

u/LordStryker · 2 pointsr/askscience

For computational chemistry:

You will need to have a solid understanding of Quantum Chemistry. The two commonly used books for this is the following...

Quantum Chemistry: 6th ed. by Levine

Modern Quantum Chemistry by Szabo.

Honestly don't worry too much about the newest edition of Levine. I've been using the 5th edition and not much has changed. Szabo is published by Dover so its dirt cheap.

For actual computational chemistry, Cramer does a decent job.

u/iammaxhailme · 2 pointsr/GradSchool

I'm in chemistry, this is what I recommend to everybody doing q. chem. It explains things in a pretty understandable way imo. Also it's cheap

u/alpastortacos · 2 pointsr/pics

Found all these books for less than 250, don't buy books at the bookstore
first, second, third, fourth

u/rocketracer · 2 pointsr/UCSC

You can definitely get the book cheaper on Amazon, used. That listing on the bookstore's site is for a "bundle" which includes the physical textbook, pdf of the book, and online homework code. Looks like CHEM1P is doing a trial online homework website this quarter. That will be completely separate from the textbook. As for the textbook, Randa's syllabus does state to get the 7th edition, although there may be some leniency, as we were allowed to use the 6th edition last fall quarter. However, if you're going to complete the gen chem series (CHEM 1A, 1B, 1C) it may be worth the investment.

u/thebillywayne · 2 pointsr/chemhelp

This is a really great book. Not sure how "undergraduate" it is. But I'm not sure just how undergraduate chemical kinetics, as subject all to its own, is either. The mathematics is not the simplest.

But this book will cover any topic. It's very thorough.

I'd also recommend McQuarrie's PChem book. It has a very clear section on kinetics. And it's my favorite PChem book, but only just nudging out Atkins.

u/_perpetual_student_ · 2 pointsr/unt

The ACS exam is a large standardized multiple choice test written by the American Chemistry Society. The ACS chemistry subject exams are frequently used to prove proficiency for incoming graduate students.

The two tests are not necessarily all free response. She prefers to give part multiple choice and part short answer. There are built in curves for the exams. Things like there being 8 short answer questions, but you pick four and those are the only ones you have to answer.

As for what is sufficient, I don't know. I go for there is no kill like overkill, so that isn't a help. How long the Sapling homework takes you is highly variable. If I started at the beginning of a chapter it always took me longer than if I started by the midpoint, but that's a personal thing. If you keep after it and actually do work about two hours a day every single day, then you should be just fine for any course.

This said, I highly recommend reading Organic Chemistry As A Second Language to help get your head around the topics. Keep track of the electrons and what they are doing rather than specific mechanisms by name. Look for the patterns rather than trying to memorize everything. Don't be afraid to use the CRC for tutoring, second floor of the chem building on your left as you walk through the doors, it's paid for in your tuition and fees for taking organic chemistry. Also, make use of your resources and use YouTube videos and Khan academy when you get stuck. They don't often go in a great deal of depth, but they can get you on the right track.

Dandekar does reward work. If she can see that you are busting ass because your study group leader reports that you've been there working hard that helps. If you do all of the extra credit and it isn't slapdash, that gets rewarded as well. I can't speak to the bumping grades by a letter, but I can tell you she respects it and she rewards it.

The commute is what concerns me in your case. I'm not much better off living in the Frisco area about half an hour away from campus. Having been there done that, what really helped for me was that I set things up so that I would spend the entire days at UNT alternating with the community college. The commute is not trivial. Also, thanks to the lovely parking situation, you should plan to arrive at the campus nearly an hour before class to give yourself time to find a parking spot, walk to class, and get settled in the right frame of mind to learn something new. After 9:30 am and before 2 pm, finding parking is not easy.

u/Ambrosia21 · 2 pointsr/OrganicChemistry

Go buy Organic Chemistry as a Second Language Link

and use Khan academy or any other youtube videos to fill in the general chemistry blanks. Maybe review lewis structures if you're not doing that in class. To be honest there's not a ton of overlap conceptually with your general chemistry courses, so you shouldn't be terribly unprepared. Just do not get behind, if you keep up with the material it shouldn't be overwhelming, you get behind and it'll get really overwhelming really quickly.

u/LocalAmazonBot · 2 pointsr/premed

Here are some links for the product in the above comment for different countries:



This bot is currently in testing so let me know what you think by voting (or commenting).

u/jakrabit · 2 pointsr/premed

I am currently completing my two semesters of organic after completing gen chem seven years ago. I spent the summer reviewing the gen material and I felt pretty well prepared for organic. Like some of the other users have said, a good class will pull you up to snuff on what you need to know. Besides, organic has a lot more to do with the illustrative way that say, a hydrogen atom binds with an oxygen, and its effects, than with numbers. It often feels like it's more of an art class with puzzle-solving than a science class.

I would highly recommend getting a copy of Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. Amazing reference and clarifying tool. It will carry you through about 2/3rds of the 1st semester material, as well as give you a good foundation for everything. Not having that foundation is where most people flounder at the end of 1st and all the way through 2nd semester organic. Hope this helps!

u/kobibeef · 2 pointsr/UCSantaBarbara

I took 109A last quarter with Bruice and LMAO rip it was 2 fast and furious 4 me, and thus my weary brain and butt is re-taking it right now with Aue.

Anyway, I went into this quarter expecting the first half at least to be a breeze for me since yeah, I'd gone through the course once already. But to be honest, Aue's style of teaching is completely different from Bruice's, and I was pretty lost myself and felt like I was taking the course for the first time again. So even more respect to the students that are taking O-chem for the first time under him.

I'm not the best student, but from my own experiences comparing the two classes, I feel like you shouldn't focus too much on the textbook, since Aue deviates from it a lot and teaches things that aren't mentioned in it at all. In Bruice, her tests were basically just the book problems (the questions weren't too hard, there was just so much to cover in so little time, whic, but I'll look through the book now and realize there's so much stuff I had to study in her class last quarter that seems to never be mentioned in Aue.

Are you enrolled in CLAS? That's really helpful for me. I did pretty well on the first midterm this quarter, and it's all because one of the CLAS instructor's pre-midterm review sessions taught me so much and saved my butt.

Seems like the best way to study for Aue is to study his past midterms. I don't have any of my own, but I know he does post an old one online on Gauchospace. Just see if you can get a good understanding of the free response questions, since the first midterm was pretty similar in concept, and if anything, it was the multiple choice questions I struggled more with LOL.

Additionally, one of my older friends gave me this book to supplement my readings last quarter, that I didn't crack open at all until I was in Aue lmao. But I found it pretty helpful, too, since I was too lazy to read the textbook and it seemed like Aue followed the order of this handbook better than Bruice's textbook. I believe it's also one of the supplemental readings he mentions in the syllabus: O-Chem As Second Language

But yeah. Don't stress too much. I hope some of this could be helpful, but take it with a grain of salt, since this is also my first time taking a course under Aue. I too am in the same boat as u in that i feel fked for the next midterm atm :-) But dw, you've still got a couple of days left and I had no idea that I would do decently well on the last midterm until it happened. That can be you, too.


u/luckylefty37 · 2 pointsr/premed

Sorry, I screwed up the title! Here is the proper link

Organic Chemistry As a Second Language, 3e: First Semester Topics

u/Goosemaniac · 2 pointsr/premed

I did both Organic Chemistry classes over 1 summer (5 weeks/class). It was easily the most brutal classroom experience of my academic career.

If I could go back I'd definitely start by completing the Organic Chemistry as a Second Language books ( There is one for each class, and they are enormously helpful. Aside from that, do all the practice problems from your textbook. Unlike some of your other science classes it can be difficult to memorize the rules and then apply them... you will learn the rules by doing problems.

When it comes to stereochemistry, use models. After you have the 3-dimensional structures down, it is doubtful you will need to come back to the models again.

u/wilkes9042 · 2 pointsr/chemistry

Try this book for organic chemistry at least.

It can be found far cheaper in other places, but this book really helped me to grasp organic concepts. I have a bunch of books in PDF format, so if you'd like me to forward them to you PM me your email address. I'd be more than happy to fire them over to you.

In addition, I recommend getting a cheap molecular model kit to further help you to grasp some of concepts that relate to the spatial orientation of molecules/stereochemistry; a lot of people seem to hit the wall when it gets to that point because visualization is difficult. eBay have some cheap sets. Better yet, you could make some with dowel rods and colored beads/polystyrene balls.

I've the utmost admiration for your desire to learn despite your 'age'. Not that it should ever deter you, it's just that I've come to accept that the majority of people just stop caring about learning once they pass a certain point, and so I find it refreshing when I do see somebody striving to learn.

u/MandibleofThunder · 2 pointsr/UWMadison

A good supplement to the text and practice problems is "Organic Chemistry as a Second Language"

Puts everything in relatively easy terms, has a lot of good practice problems, and tends to follow the coursework pretty well.

Organic Chemistry As a Second Language: First Semester Topics

u/LZAtotheMZA · 2 pointsr/toastme

Hi! Chemist here. I damn near failed it too because it's hard as hell. I used this to help:

Remember: This class does not define you or what you want to do. You've got this! Keep going, future scientist!

u/Mezzezo · 2 pointsr/chemhelp

Well, it is a combination of organic chemistry (questions IV,V and VI) and inorganic chemistry (II). Question I is a basic chemistry question.

Question III is maybe inorganic, but could be thermodynamic as well. It depends on where you get the question. I have gotten similar questions in courses about thermodynamics and inorganic chemistry.

I'm not sure what basic books could be useful for you. For my bachelor I use the books organic chemistry and Physical chemistry. These books are quite advanced, I don't know if it helps you in anyway. But this is at least a start.

Sorry, couldn't find a book for inorganic chemistry. (don't know the writer and I can't get to my books unfortunately)

Good luck with learning chemistry!

u/Somnif · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

We used a general P-chem textbook I'm afraid, and either focused only on questions that were biological in nature, or the professor used them as jumping off points for biologically-relevant examples.

(I personally used the "international" edition which was far cheaper)

u/Pi_Maker · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important

Here is a thing... about elements!. Elements hang out in space! xD

I once went stargazing with my now-fiance. There was a meteor shower and it was soooooo beautiful! I'd never seen that. I had a great time - and it paid off for both of us! I'm so glad i went :)

u/Khorija · 2 pointsr/funny

One of my favourite textbooks: and this was my only source for a presentation, because no one else seems to be interested in Si-NMR... thank god the theoretical part was available online for free.

u/TheBellmanHimself · 2 pointsr/neoliberal

Covertly scope out their coffee table to make sure they don't have a copy of Theodore Gray's The Elements. If they don't, get him a copy, it's an entertaining yet beautiful and informative book.

If you want to be safer, get a copy of Gray's Molecules or Reactions because it's much less likely they'll have a copy and I presume they're nearly as good.

u/mitchandre · 2 pointsr/chemistry

I would suggest "Modern Physical Organic Chemistry", but it isn't limited to just radical reactions. It'll go deeper into many of the reaction types in organic chemistry including radicals.

u/internationaltester · 2 pointsr/Sat

The subject tests are never released and so there are no past papers to be had. The College Board has 1 large book that contains 1 example of each type of SAT subject test.

SAT Subject Tests Book

Last year the College Board started publishing individual guides. The guides have 2-4 practice tests. There is not a guide for every type of test, but these are the most common ones.

SAT Chemistry

SAT Biology


SAT Physics

SAT US History

SAT World History

u/beningitis · 2 pointsr/chemistry

Yeah, sorry about that. I'm an idiot. I was reading on my phone and didn't scroll before I replied.

For organic, Solomons is good. I learned on that first and liked it quite a bit. I've also TAed using Carey/Giuliano which is a good book too. I liked Solomons more, but probably because I was more familiar with it.
Prices are steep, so maybe look for an old edition, unless you're positive you can use a new one wherever you go.

If you're pretty confident in your organic stuff, you can look at Dave Evans organic class (he is a professor at Harvard and posted some great notes here )

It might also help to read up on some organometallic chemistry. I this book
It was ok, but there might be better out there. Maybe some other people will have some input.

A good physical organic book is
It's a dense book. This book also doesn't focus a whole lot on reactivity if I remember correctly. It does a lot of explaining the underlying physics of what happens in organic reactions.

For biochem, I can't help you. I took intro bio and ran the other direction, so more power to you.

u/Nucleofile · 1 pointr/chemistry

As much as I absolutely loved that book, I would not suggest it for OP if they are not familiar with relatively end-stage calculus (there are a number of partial derivatives in there) and quantum theory. It is true that the thermodynamics might help, but even people within my own class of chemistry students at my university struggled to grasp the text. Again, this depends entirely on what OP's learning style.

If, on the other hand, OP is desiring some stimulation from the world of physical chemistry, especially from the aspect of organic chemistry (which I assume to be the next step in OP's studies) would be the Anslyn text Modern Physical Organic Chemistry. It is advanced mind you and assumes some understanding in organic and physical chemistry, but it is a very stimulating approach to both and I would highly recommend both as future reading and as a book simply to keep around - it is quite good.

Again, if OP has a solid mathematical background, the McQuarrie text really is great - one of my favorite texts until my current program.

If OP is looking for something truly interesting that, again, will help to solidify everything they learn as they progress, I would recommend (against most everyone's opinion, partially including my own due to Housecraft's overabundance of fluff) the Inorganic Chemistry by Housecraft. Again, some of this is relatively advanced, but it contains information that is extremely satisfying and, personally, helped to solidify many of the concepts I had learned leading up to that point in my undergraduate career.

If you have some desires, please post more, OP! Nice to hear people in those years are interested in stimulating their own education! Best of luck!

u/gbhacker133 · 1 pointr/Sat


I got this book with two real tests, scores are out of 85

u/773333 · 1 pointr/Sat

There are now updated specialized CollegeBoard books for Math 2 (4 past exams) and Chem (2 past exams + there's 1 more exam in the big Official Guide). Get a prep book to review content and work on practice questions if you want, but these exams are unparalleled for accurate diagnostic scores.

u/Prad830 · 1 pointr/Sat

They are good for letting you know the type of questions you can expect.

There are two sample papers in the official guide which will give you a good direction

u/Issa_missa_vissa · 1 pointr/Sat

Chemistry: taking AP chem and studying for that would be really helpful, but not required obviously (that’s just what I did and I feel like the help it gave was immense since AP chem really explains WHY everything is what it is not just knowing that it is). Also, I read both Barron’s and the Princeton book. After reading them and doing the practice questions for every topic I looked over them again lightly to see if I remember the gist of the chapters and everything I didn’t know from school. I did both Princeton’s tests as simulations and looked at the Barron’s tests going “yup yup yup” if I knew the method to solve until I got to something I know I can’t do quick and looked at how to do it. Then, the night before, I increased my confidence (at this point really there wasn’t any point actually studying) by doing one the college board tests they have in their small book for the chem subject test (not the big one, they have one for chem I think it’s blue colored iirc). Okay yeah it is I just looked it up for you here. I planned on going over my mistakes as you would usually do, but I got it all right and got an 800 so I happily went to bed knowing I got this. I took the test the next day. Overall, my advice would be do what I did but give yourself more time since I did it all in a week lmao.

u/PM_ME_YOUR_M3M3 · 1 pointr/Sat

College board has a book you can buy. It has real practice SATs designed by College Board.

Edit 1:
Here is the link on amazon.

u/treeses · 1 pointr/chemistry

The relaxed T1 energy is always going to be lower than the relaxed S1 energy, so T1 will lie somewhere between the S1 and S0 states. Once you cross over to the T1 state and the molecule relaxes to the T1 minimum, there will be an energy barrier that will keep it from crossing back to the S1 state. Here is a picture of what I mean.

There are lots of good books on photochemistry and photophysics. Modern Physical Organic Chemistry has some good chapters on it. Turro wrote several popular books, but I'm partial to Klessinger and Michl.

u/connor4312 · 1 pointr/InternetIsBeautiful

Reminds me of a book I received several years ago, The Elements, by Theodore Gray. Amazing pictures and some fascinating descriptions.

Surprisingly cheap on Amazon:

u/mother_of_all_lies · 1 pointr/kratom

It doesn’t cause any pigmation. This book has a chapter describing how. It wasn’t kratom but the fact that they worked as field hands outside all there life.
Duh you think that might have an effect on skin

u/MayBugBby · 1 pointr/kratom

There are studies showing the opposite, how it works as an anti-inflammatory agent, perhaps you could look into that to see how effective they found it was, I would recommend reading this book for an in depth analysis and links to further sources.

Chapter 20 of the book concludes, “many strides . . .have been made . . . regarding its potential therapeutic uses as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory agent, and muscle relaxant."

u/lumixel · 1 pointr/books

> Books with awesome pictures on the front and terrible stories.

In fairness to Scholastic, we picked this up at the last book fair:

and it is AMAZING. Gorgeous pictures and lots of scientific data and interesting facts, written in a conversational tone. We ended up buying the author's followup book, Molecules, which is frankly a good supplement to a lot of college chemistry textbooks.

u/Jrowe47 · 1 pointr/kratom

I'm holding off on purchasing my lab stuff all at once. I'm going to spend a month researching, and get a couple books on kratom, like

I'm also going to find some books on organic chemistry. I've found that very specific equipment will be needed, and there are dozens of variations, so I don't want to spend hundreds on incomplete lab equipment by going off half cocked. Once I've got a solid understanding, I'll try finding gear for under $300, then post the shopping list here.

Sciguy52 , thanks for the assistance so far! I think if we put together a crowdfunding campaign to obtain a used gc-ms, this community could rise to the occasion. I'm going to haunt some other subs and forums, and see if I can't find a group of experts willing to offer suggestions and insights.

We should come up with informal surveys, use cases, and scour all the anecdotal information out there to try to provide a comprehensive scientific resource.

Herbal medicine is woefully under-represented in western culture. The internet is allowing good information to rapidly spread, but it's as hard as ever to provide authoritative sources. The kratom Wikipedia article is a great example of this, where ignorance has prevailed.

u/MonkeyG0d · 1 pointr/chemistry

Although not chemistry per se right hand, left hand ( was recommended to us by our organic chemistry lecturer (Clayden, the guy who wrote co-authored

Edit: Also there is a chemistry section within Bill Brysons short history of nearly everything, and tbh if you have any general interest in science then you should read this book anyway as it covers loads of topics throughout the history of science really well and its very accessable

u/TheStudyOf_Wumbo · 1 pointr/UofT

I didn't do CHM136/138 here, but I did do a fuck ton of organic chem at another university before I came here.

The key is to understanding how everything operates. If you memorize anything, you are fucked. The book we used for the classes was this and it gave me a fair amount of practice. It's probably overkill for what you want, but all the other organic chem textbooks just approached things by more memorization.

When I focused on drawing my reaction mechanisms right and pushing electrons/bonds around properly, knowing pKa's, and doing tons of examples to make sure that things make sense.

However the CHM138 exams look very vicious for a first year course, on par with UofT I guess (or my old uni was shit). I did a third year course at another university and only that covered some of the stuff on there, and it seems to borrow on some of the topics from there.

For example, if you have 2-chloro-2-methypropane and you add water/EtOH (based on the exam question), would H2O attack? Would it take off a proton on one of the CH3's and eliminate it? Would it then attack? Or would the slight acidity of EtOH do something else?

It's been a while since I've done this but you should understand why things happen. When you do, there's not much else that can stop you. One key is to make sure that you ask (when you get the answer) is why other things don't happen. If you don't ask why SN reactions don't happen over E1/E2 reactions, you might end up costing yourself half the understanding.

Regardless, I say wait until someone who has done that course responds, but this is what I found worked for me when I did orgchem.

u/Krns · 1 pointr/chemistry

Thanks a lot for the reply!

Well, that's my biggest concern so far. I understand that I need practice, but finding a lab will be challenging(no community colleges, not in the US).
But, there is some spare money, and maybe I could set up some lab practice at home with decent preparations? Found a lot of chem kits, but seems like all of them are for children(and inorganic chem).

Also I got myself this book - , would you recommend it?

EDIT: About lab practice, maybe there is some virtual lab programs? I fully realise it's not the same as real lab, but maybe it will help at first. Practicing while learning programming was so easier, heh.

u/TanithRosenbaum · 1 pointr/chemistry

I used Clayden/Greeves/Warren/Wothers to study for my final tests. I loved it. Looks like I'm not the only one taken by that book.

u/craigwilk · 1 pointr/chemistry

This book was fantastic for organic chemistry when I was in undergrad. Really well explained and detailed. Don't buy it new!

Phys chem I used was Atkins Physical Chemistry, but I wouldn't rave about that as much.

u/slayerOfDangerNoodle · 1 pointr/datascience

> generally reading and working through a book will provide you with greater depth of knowledge and experience than any lecture or lecture + practice problems course could give you

I completely agree, I've learned a lot by working through problems in "Linear Algebra and Its Applications". I'm on page 17 so far, it made me realise how long it'll take to digest the book.

I know from my Experience as a Chemist, if someone with minimal chemical experience read through all of Clayden's textbook on Organic Chemistry then they would probably know much better Organic Chem than I do. (I can't remember if it has problems, that's how much I feel like I wasted my time at University.) Though, this person would be missing on lab experience and having a video view into Inorganic and Physical chemistry would be useful. They would probably need to set their goal first.

(Edit: After checking, it seems Clayden does have practice questions. I can't believe I didn't take advantage of this.)

At least I know that I want to do data science, though I understand the job specifications can vary a lot based on what companies need. That's partly what's causing me some confusion.

My big question is, how badly will I be judged for doing this outside of University and not having a piece of paper saying that I've done the work?

I'm more than happy to work out of a textbook. I'm happy to study for years if I have to. I'll do what It takes, and I've already spent the last couple of months learning using MOOCs. I just want to know if that'll work. (Well, I guess it always has been a calculated risk from the start.)

I'm aware that I can do some networking, when I am done doing all this studying I can join some Meetups, I already have a blog that I write in (perhaps not often enough, but still) and I'm quite active on LinkedIn and the community you can find on there. I know that if I do a couple of Kaggle competitions, that will also help prove the case that I know what I am doing.

What do you think?

Edit: I looked at the link you gave me and it seems to hit the nail on the head in terms of what's useful. But it will take me a long time to work through this, which is fine by me, I just don't know how someone in HR will view it. (Although that's why I mentioned networking above.)

u/sgraber · 1 pointr/chemistry

This is the one I use:

Prentice Hall Molecular Model Set For Organic Chemistry

Works great and they can double as ornaments on your ChemisTree at Christmas. :)

u/PlasticWhisperer · 1 pointr/chemistry

If you're into organic, this one, right here:

It's space-filling and very versatile, I like how it helps me see the shapes of molecules.

u/skierface · 1 pointr/chemistry

This is what I have.

It's pretty expensive unfortunately, but it's incredibly nice and I don't see it breaking any time in the near future.

u/alittleperil · 1 pointr/LadiesofScience

Stop second-guessing your choice of major. Keep your eyes on what you actually want, and remember that the steps along the way will all build there eventually. Check in on your plans when you're picking classes each semester, to make sure you're still on course and still want that ultimate goal. The REU and some lab time will all help.

Try reading some science-related books, not actual science but stuff about scientists themselves or stories about specific scientific discoveries. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Double Helix, Eighth Day of Creation, The Disappearing Spoon, and Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman. Your school should have copies of most of them, and they aren't textbook-heavy (though not quite as light as fiction novels).

Don't forget to stay at least a little rounded. Someone on just about every recruitment weekend for grad school will ask about your hobbies. I'm pretty sure they're required to do so :) Or you'll discover you and your interviewer both do ceramics and can chat about that, leaving a stronger impression than if you were yet another person talking about science. It's good to be done with the requirements, but make sure you keep up something outside your major, even if it's just ultimate frisbee.

u/papijaja · 1 pointr/AmazonTopRated

If anyone is looking more elemental oddities, [The Disappearing Spoon] (*Version*=1&*entries*=0) is a great read for all ages.

u/Typhun · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I read that over the summer. This was one of the stories in it. If you guys are into nonfiction and science, you might want to check that book out. Full of amazing stories about chemistry. This story was cool, but there are a lot of cool stories in that book.

u/aketr · 1 pointr/chemistry

I dont find "invisible Spoon" is maybe The Disappearing Spoon ( ) ?

u/etrask · 1 pointr/todayilearned

You should read The Disappearing Spoon. Fascinating read on the elements, how they were named, discovered, and the intrigue behind them. It's a lot more interesting than I'm making it sound...

u/Efnaplebbi · 1 pointr/chemistry has every thing you listed in a single book. It is a fantastic read that covers the usage of elements and stories of their discoveries and the scientists behind them. I love it and going to finish it while overseeing exams in the coming weeks.

u/Mcletters · 1 pointr/NoStupidQuestions

Reddit's acting wonky and showing me some comments, then removing them. But I thought I would answer your question as best I could.

Basically, they had figured out spectroscopy. If you put a gas in a tube with metal plates at each end you can sent an electric current through it and the gass will glow. You get different colors based on what is glowing. My 7th grade science teacher did this and it was cool as hell. Here's a cool video that shows some gases (it uses a Tesla coil to excite the gas). If you send the light through a prism, you can separate out the colors. Depending how you do it, you either get a rainbow with some parts missing, or just the missing colors. Here's a wikipedia article with the spectral lines of a bunch of elements. Apparently a guy named Fraunhofer did this in 1802.

There was a solar eclipse in 1868 and they did a spectral analysis of the sun. They found some lines that didn't correspond to anything. Meanwhile, Mendelev didn't publish his periodic table until 1869. His table didn't include Helium. There were a decent number of elements and the periodic table went through several revisions. In addition, Helium is a noble gas so it doesn't really react with other elements. It's also pretty rare on earth (although common in the universe). So it took scientist a while to find it on Earth.

Although I don't remember it covering the discovery of Helium, I'd recommend The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean that is a fun, but informative, book on the elements.

u/eta_carinae_311 · 1 pointr/geology

I enjoyed Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester.

Also, and this one isn't strictly geo, but it's awesome, The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean. Basically a history of the periodic table. And it's really funny too.

u/NeFace · 1 pointr/chemistry

I have never read this book, but I can tell form the title it will likely be helpful.

Organic chemistry is easy-mode, once you understand that memorising and regurgitating every single reaction and transformation is impossible, and start to actually learn how molecules behave.

Once you understand the rules organic chemistry works by, it is a wonderful subject to study.

I also suggest Organic Synthesis, The Disconnection Approach.

u/speckledlemon · 1 pointr/chemistry

I really liked Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds. It has sections on basic MS and IR interpretation, but most of the book covers all of the 1D and 2D NMR techniques you'd come across (unless your a structural protein chemist).

u/Owan · 1 pointr/chemistry

I took an NMR heavy course as a senior that used this textbook:

its not totally amazing, but it was a pretty good reference for NMR and other spectrometric methods.

What kind of organometallics?

u/catvender · 1 pointr/askscience

If you are looking for resources to help you learn electronic structure theory, I recommend the textbook by Szabo and Ostlund here.

u/sneddo_trainer · 1 pointr/chemistry

Personally I make a distinction between scripting and programming that doesn't really exist but highlights the differences I guess. I consider myself to be scripting if I am connecting programs together by manipulating input and output data. There is lots of regular expression pain and trial-and-error involved in this and I have hated it since my first day of research when I had to write a perl script to extract the energies from thousands of gaussian runs. I appreciate it, but I despise it in equal measure. Programming I love, and I consider this to be implementing a solution to a physical problem in a stricter language and trying to optimise the solution. I've done a lot of this in fortran and java (I much prefer java after a steep learning curve from procedural to OOP). I love the initial math and understanding, the planning, the implementing and seeing the results. Debugging is as much of a pain as scripting, but I've found the more code I write the less stupid mistakes I make and I know what to look for given certain error messages. If I could just do scientific programming I would, but sadly that's not realistic. When you get to do it it's great though.

The maths for comp chem is very similar to the maths used by all the physical sciences and engineering. My go to reference is Arfken but there are others out there. The table of contents at least will give you a good idea of appropriate topics. Your university library will definitely have a selection of lower-level books with more detail that you can build from. I find for learning maths it's best to get every book available and decide which one suits you best. It can be very personal and when you find a book by someone who thinks about the concepts similarly to you it is so much easier.
For learning programming, there are usually tutorials online that will suffice. I have used O'Reilly books with good results. I'd recommend that you follow the tutorials as if you need all of the functionality, even when you know you won't. Otherwise you get holes in your knowledge that can be hard to close later on. It is good supplementary exercise to find a method in a comp chem book, then try to implement it (using google when you get stuck). My favourite algorithms book is Numerical Recipes - there are older fortran versions out there too. It contains a huge amount of detailed practical information and is geared directly at computational science. It has good explanations of math concepts too.

For the actual chemistry, I learned a lot from Jensen's book and Leach's book. I have heard good things about this one too, but I think it's more advanced. For Quantum, there is always Szabo & Ostlund which has code you can refer to, as well as Levine. I am slightly divorced from the QM side of things so I don't have many other recommendations in that area. For statistical mechanics it starts and ends with McQuarrie for me. I have not had to understand much of it in my career so far though. I can also recommend the Oxford Primers series. They're cheap and make solid introductions/refreshers. I saw in another comment you are interested potentially in enzymology. If so, you could try Warshel's book which has more code and implementation exercises but is as difficult as the man himself.

Jensen comes closest to a detailed, general introduction from the books I've spent time with. Maybe focus on that first. I could go on for pages and pages about how I'd approach learning if I was back at undergrad so feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

Out of curiosity, is it DLPOLY that's irritating you so much?

u/TheSkepticalChymist · 1 pointr/chemistry

The Hartree-Fock method builds molecular orbitals for a given molecule out of atomic orbitals of a given basis set. Depending on how much calculus you know, this project may be difficult, as it is more appropriate for a 3rd year university student. If you're still interested though, these two books and ppt should help:
linus pauling
Attila Szabo
An Introduction to Quantum Chemistry

Another idea you guys could look into is researching the chemistry of semiconductors in computer chips, how semiconductors work, and possibly look into the future of quantum computing (if there is one).

Sorry to take so long to get back to you.

u/AsianDoctor · 1 pointr/chemistry
u/ParticleCannon · 1 pointr/pics

Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, $135 new

Physical Chemistry, 9th edition (newer), $74 used (out of print)

Separation Process Principles, $121 new

I have a hard time believing that basic Chemistry book is $670

edit: someone beat me to it, the chemistry book is not $670, its $50

u/wombocombo087 · 1 pointr/pics

"Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering" by Fogler (4th edition) sells on Amazon for $87.64. (

"Physical Chemistry" by Atkins, 8th edition sells for $31.50 on Amazon. (

"Separation Process Principles" (I think 3rd edition if my image enhancer is working properly) sells on Amazon for $65.

"Chemistry" by Zumdahl (I think 7th edition) sells on Amazon for $25.77. (

So $209.91 less shipping fees but these would mail via USPS Media Mail which runs like, at most $3.75 per book so take that out and you're left with $194.91.

u/fscottfitzgayerald · 1 pointr/APStudents

AP Chem is one helluva ride—but provided you have the right resources, you’ll get through it. A lot of the chem relies on building off of the basics—stoichometry, periodic trends, etc—and the rest is pretty self-teachable.

The AP Chem crash course book really helped me. It’s best to read it when reviewing, or after you’ve finished a unit and are not quite sure. You can get is here. The same company makes a killer APUSH book, too.

Edit: if anyone wants my APUSH and chem crash course books for like $7 shipping hmu

u/scottayyyyy · 1 pointr/APStudents

Bozeman Science ( videos and getting a review book such as Barron's or Crash Course can help you greatly. Good luck!

u/fob911 · 1 pointr/UBreddit

Not sure if there's a test coming up, but just for studying, this book is a godsend and covers virtually all the content in both Chem101 and Chem102, with the exception of the final ligens chapter in 102.

u/AjAce28 · 1 pointr/apchemistry
If your looking for a resource to actually teach you the content you need, this is also a really good one that is very organized and has great practice tests and questions.

u/ConnorF42 · 1 pointr/chemistry

Have you had any physics? It's normally required for a P-Chem class. Perhaps starting with physics would help you with the regular p-chem textbooks? The P-Chem textbook I see recommended the most here is probably this one, but it isn't really biology based.

u/chemcloakedschemer · 1 pointr/chemistry

As you get through certain concepts in lecture, do the corresponding problems in the ACS guide. They give pretty good explanations.

My PChem prof used Engel and Reid and it's pretty readable that you should be OK. If you really want another text to draw from I'd look into McQuarrie's text aka "The Big Red Brick".

u/Rhioms · 1 pointr/chemistry

See if you can pick up a copy of the textbook before hand, and look through it, and see what you need to learn/ brush up on for the subjects. If they haven't posted a booklist yet, email the professor, they will likely be willing to tell you. If not, take a look at McQuarry, It's a pretty standard book for the course.

u/sooneday · 1 pointr/chemhelp

Do a lot of problems. Doing problems helps more than studying your notes.

Also, fuck the textbook they assign. Get this one, it's by far the best pchem book. It does an excellent job of teaching the math and the theory.

Finally, learn to derive the equations. Even if you aren't tested on derivations, it really helps you grok the material and how all the pieces relate.

u/TwoTinders · 1 pointr/Tinder

The book, for the uninitiated: Organic Chemistry as a Second Language

u/LebronMVP · 1 pointr/NCSU

Not an ncsu student (wtf am I doing here).

What you need to do is be very very dedicated throughout the summer session and resolve yourself to study everyday. I dont know if you are a premed of some kind or if you are content with leaving with a C. Either way, you need to go through your textbook while in the class, and do EVERY problem in the chapter and the problems at the end of the chapter.

You may read this as over kill, but when I took the class I had already read the first 3-4 chapters before the class started. I left with an A in both I and II.

If you need extra study material, I suggest these:

Textbook (best organic textbook imo):


reply if you need anything else. I dont know anything about feducia or the course itsself. I do know organic though

u/white_lightning · 1 pointr/chemhelp

I've yet to have to use it, but I've hear this book Organic Chemistry As a Second Language, is amazing

u/sophmiester · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Organic Chemistry As a Second Language by David Klein

Buy both the books!

Instead of using my class textbook, I used these two books. These books will cover most of what you need to know in your ochem courses. I wasted money buying the class textbook when I could have used these two books alone.

u/ChappyMcFlappy · 1 pointr/aggies

Howdy. as a the others of said, OCHEM is not too incredibly difficult it is just a new kind of science that you haven't seen before. when i was at TAMU i took both OCHEM 1 and 2, and worked in a biological chemistry lab (for one of the actual OCHEM professors). i worked really close with my grad student (who was an OCHEM TA), and he always recommended the "OCHEM as a second language book" by David Cline. i read through it after i had taken OCHEM and was kicking myself because the book was soo good at teaching you the fundamentals of OCHEM. it is a really good book if you want to use it as a support resource. i found the newest edition on amazon if you are interested. ( ) Getting an A is definitely manageable if you put forth the effort.

u/iscreamtruck · 1 pointr/chemistry

It's not a light read. it covers the core fundamentals of electrochemistry including mass transport, diffusion, and migration of charge at electrode interfaces, as well as, practical application of electrochemical techniques which include but aren't limited to polarography, cyclic volametry and other sweep/step techniques. The book focuses on the mathematical derivations of many important benchmark equations like cotrell and rendall-sevich which are used extensively. the proofs can be a bit challenging to follow without a decent background in calculus (diff. eq. helps too) but even if the derivations are lost, the important equations still hold true.

if you're looking for an introductory text for redox couples using electrochemistry you might be better off consulting a sophomoric text like Brown; Chemistry: The Central Science - Chapter 20 or Atkins' - Physical Chemistry - Chapter 7 & 25

don't hold me to those chapters... they could have changed from edition to edition.

u/skypetutor · 1 pointr/SATsubjectTests

Also try googling “SAT Subject Tests Past Papers”

u/flacidbanana · 0 pointsr/chemistry

No no no no. This is the perfect example of how not to learn. You need to learn how to learn. Learning form videos is a horrible idea if you want to beat the average. Please I tell you this from experience. There are studies out there if you don't believe me. If you're looking for a textbook to read check out

u/horatiowilliams · 0 pointsr/politics

A standard chemistry textbook runs you about $300. Multiply that by four or five classes students usually take, and take into account many professors require two or three books. That's easily $2,000 in a semester, just for textbooks.

People have this idea that textbooks are cheap. They are not.

u/lumpignon · 0 pointsr/books
u/kingnutter · 0 pointsr/seduction

Here's a cheeky affiliate link to my favourite book. I hope you all understand.

u/darthoptimus · -3 pointsr/askscience

Read something interesting about this recently from The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Keane. Won't answer the question but it's food for thought:

"Every amino acid in every protein in your body has a left-handed twist to it. In fact, virtually every protein in every life form that has ever existed is exclusively left-handed. If astrobiologists ever find a microbe on a meteor or moon of Jupiter, almost the first thing they’ll test is the handedness of its proteins. If the proteins are left-handed, the microbe is possibly earthly contamination. If they’re right-handed, it’s certainly alien life.

[...] All of our carbohydrates have a right-handed twist. Regardless, Pasteur’s main point remains: in different contexts, our bodies expect and can only process molecules of a specific handedness. Our cells would not be able to translate left-handed DNA, and if we were fed left-handed sugars, our bodies would starve."

--The last bit confuses me, I always thought that DNA twisted to the left.. ?

u/Autopilot_Psychonaut · -3 pointsr/canada

Nobel laureate in one field?? Did you miss the bit about the other Nobel prize?

Francis Crick called him the father of molecular biology:


Textbooks written:

General Chemistry

The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics with Applications to Chemistry


Vitamin C vindication:

The trouble with most vitamin C studies is usually too small a dose. Also the oral vs intravenous thing. You know animals produce grams and grams per day, humans have a genetic deficit. This is my favourite article to explain:


Heart disease is scurvy:


Also, here's an interesting read on nukes (remember that peace prize?) and free radicals (that other one was in chemistry):


I hope this helps! My personal random-guy-on-the-internet recommendation is several hundred milligrams a few times a day, preferably away from food, increasing dosage during illness.

u/corrado33 · -4 pointsr/cringe

> The bra-ket notation is literally just a way of notating linear algebra. The math doesn't change because of how you write it down.

You've obviously never taken a quantum mechanics class. It's taught as one or the other. I'm not arguing it's different, hence why I said the bra-ket "notation". It's simply the way chemists and physicists prefer to represent the schrodinger equation because it makes their math look better for their most commonly used applications.

I present to you, a perfect example.

This here is a book generally used by chemists when being taught quantum mechanics.

And now here is a book generally used by physicists when being taught the same thing.

Do you see how one book works almost exclusively in the linear algebra space while the other works almost exclusively using bra-ket notation? It's a choice, made by professors. Yes, you can learn both, it's not hard. This is why I know you've never taken a quantum mechanics class because this is made extraordinarily clear to everybody in the class. "These two things teach you the same stuff but in different ways. We choose to use this way."

> As for physical chemistry defining how everything works, how much particle physics do you do as a physical chemist?

Well considering I'm a spectroscopist, and a mechanist, quite a bit actually. And sure, I'm sure particle theory absolutely can explain pretty much everything.... in the longest most roundabout way possible. I wasn't aware, however, that the interactions of quarks (other than the electron....) came into play for the typical, everyday chemical reactions that occur constantly. In fact, are there not very few reactions that humans can achieve that actually have enough energy to split a proton or neutron into their constituent parts? I'm pretty sure that once the big bang cooled down everything pretty much settled into the subatomic particles we know and love today. So I mean, unless you plan on replicating the types of heat seen in the big bang.... that level of detail is... well... superfluous. Sure, it MAY be useful in SOME nuclear reactions, but even then, not always. If particle theory explained everything, why is it not used to explain everything? Go on.... explain. I'm waiting.

Also I find it funny that you assume that we didn't learn about subatomic particles smaller than the proton and the neutron. We simply know that they aren't really that useful for most normal situations. In theory? Sure. In reality? No. We're chemists, not theorists. We get shit done.

> Edit: it's also worth noting that bra-ket notation is typically introduced at the undergraduate level of quantum mechanics.

Congratulations! You've discovered the meaning of the word "introduced!"