Student review: Electrochemistry: The Basics, with Examples

November 8, 2012

Electrochemistry: The Basics, with Examples

Editors: Christine Lefrou, Pierre Fabry and Jean-Claude Poignet

Edition: First

Publisher: Springer

Pages: 352

Price: £67.99

ISBN: 9783642302497

One of the few textbooks I've seen that focuses directly on electrochemistry and it made a good first impression. It's not as colourful on the inside as it looks sitting on the shelf, unfortunately, but the layout is easily readable and not intimidating.

It is aimed at chemists with a variety of levels of knowledge; the first two chapters are intended for beginners, and cover topics such as oxidation-reduction reactions and the layout of an electrochemical cell. The final two chapters, which go into greater depth, are aimed at more advanced electrochemists and revisit some topics mentioned in earlier chapters in more detail - including reference electrodes and Nernst's law.

Throughout the text, reference numbers correspond to extra notes at the bottom of each page that go into further detail. In other words, the information is there if you want it but it doesn't distract from the main concepts in the text.

I found the explanations thorough, although they were sometimes overly complicated. In my own studies I have already covered some of these concepts several times but here I had to re-read parts to identify the main point the authors were trying to make. However, there are a lot of worked-through examples that make everything a lot clearer.

Unfortunately, the order in which things are explained isn't always very logical; for example, the science behind electrodes is explained before the general layout and this may cause problems for beginners.

At the back of the book, a summary table recaps key features of each chapter - they look a lot like those final notes you take with you on the bus to an exam! There is also a list of key symbols that defines all the symbols used in equations and the units needed, which is particularly useful as electrochemistry involves many equations with similar symbols and having them all in one place avoids confusion.

There are 10 to 20 questions at the end of each chapter, and these are mostly recall questions as opposed to calculations. It's good that the answers are provided, as a lot of textbooks require you to buy a separate solutions book; at £67.99, you wouldn't want to have to make another purchase to complete the resources. Unfortunately, however, the answers to the few calculations there are don't show working, which would have been preferable.

It's definitely a book I'd take out of the library before my electrochemistry exam but perhaps not one I'd buy.

Who is it for? Chemistry undergraduates of all levels.

Presentation: Readable but lacking colour.

Would you recommend it? Yes.

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