About digital texts

{Electronic Textbooks: A Pilot Study of Student E-Reading Habits} - an article by Eric J. Simon of Fordham College. (Link is to last archived update, 10/2006.)


Digital texts by various authors

Quantum States of Atoms and Molecules is the first of a series of digital "Living Textbooks" published by the Journal of Chemical Education.

An Introduction to Chemistry - an online version of a text by Mark Bishop of Monterey Peninsula College (CA). It is intended primarily for students in beginning chemistry courses. ($20 "donate-ware", and well worth it!)

Merlin's Principles of Alchemy is a chemistry hypertextbook in the form of a large set of HTML files that users download and then view with their Web browsers off-line. It is organized in an interesting way, and is intended to support users having a wide range of backgrounds and capabilities, including home-schoolers and adult learners. There is a nominal charge for downloading the material.

Organic Chemistry WikiBook - "This free online text is intended to become a complete replacement for your printed book."

Notes on General Chemistry - These PDF files by Dan Dill of Boston U. cover various topics including quantum theory, thermodynamics-kinetics and chemical equilibrium.

General Chemistry Notes - this commercial site offers PDF downloads of sets of detailed "lecture notes" based on a survey of contemporary textbooks.  Each set covers one of twenty topics in first- or second-semester General Chemistry, and consists of an outline followed by multiple pages of lecture-type notes displayed in faux handwritten style. Free previews of each section are available.

Analytical Chemistry 2.0 - A free eText (pdf file) version of the textbook Modern Analytical Chemisty originally published by McGraw-GHukk ub 1999. The original text has been re-edited and provided with numerous new illustrations and cross-links.

General Chemistry Notes - According to the blurb on this commercial site, these note are "written by actual chemistry professors [and are] designed to combine both a student's lecture notes AND textbook materials into one easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format. When one downloads the entire set, 14-page samples of notes for each topic can be viewed without charge.


Steve Lower's Reference text chapters for General Chemistry

Please go to the Chem1 Virtual Textbook for Web-based versions of these older PDF files which are no longer available. These chapters were originally written to supplement (or in some cases to largely replace ) the conventional textbook treatments of these topics in courses in General Chemistry


Environmental chemistry

Steve Lower's Reference Text chapters for Environmental Chemistry

These are still available, but are no longer being updated.

Survey of Environmental Geobiochemistry

Provides an overview of "environmental chemistry" in its broadest context: the chemical evolution and constitution of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
This is a new version of the original 1996 document that provided the background reading for the first two weeks of a third-year Environmental Chemistry course.

(58 p)
Web version

Thermal physics (and some chemistry) of the atmosphere

An exploration of how the temperature of the atmosphere varies with altitude can serve as a useful means of illustrating some important principles relating to the behavior of gases and to the absorption and transformation of radiant energy. [Published in J. Chem. Ed. 1998 75 837 (July)]

Download/view - not available -

Aquatic Chemistry

This collection includes three chapters from the author's text materials for an upper-level course in Environmental Chemistry of the Aquatic Environment. These new versions (1997) are all in Acrobat pdf format.

  1. Acid-base chemistry of natural aquatic systems is similar to Part 2 of the Acid-base Chemistry text listed above, but is more focussed on aquatic chemistry.
  2. Carbonate Equilibria in Natural Waters is a more detailed treatment of this topic, covering open and closed systems and alkalinity. (26 p, 271K; 2 June 1999)
  3. Redox equilibria in natural waters includes a detailed treatment of pE and of pE-pH diagrams.
  4. Solids in contact with natural waters Solubility equilibria, carbonate-CO2 system; complexes; interfaces and the electric double layer; acid-base properties of surfaces, colloids, clays.


1) Download/view

2) Download/view

3) Downloadview

4) Download/view

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