Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics and Reductionism

Perspectives in Theoretical Chemistry

  • Hans Primas

Part of the Lecture Notes in Chemistry book series (LNC, volume 24)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Hans Primas
    Pages 18-44
  3. Hans Primas
    Pages 160-249
  4. Hans Primas
    Pages 250-307
  5. Hans Primas
    Pages 308-355
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 356-451

About this book


The purpose of this book is to provide a deeper insight into the modern theories of molecular matter. It incorporates the most important developments which have taken place during the last decades and reflects the modern trend to abstraction. At the present state of the art we have acquired a fairly good knowledge of "how to. compute" small molecules us­ ing the methods of quantum chemistry. Yet, in spite of many statements to the contrary and many superficial discussions, the theoretical basis of chemistry and biology is not safely in our hands. It is all but impossible to summarize the modern developments of the theory of matter in nontechnical language. But I hope that I can give some feeling for the problems, the intellectual excitements and the wor­ ries of some theoreticians. I know very well that such an enterprise is a dangerous adventure and that one says that a clever scientist should take care of his reputation by barricading himself behind the safe wall of his speciality. This volume is not meant to be a textbook; in many respects it has complementary goals. For good and bad reasons, most textbooks ignore the historical and philosophical aspects and go ahead on the basis of crude simplifications; many even lie like the devil and do not shrink from naive indoctrination. Some sections of this book can be read as commentaries on our standard texts, they are intended to stir the waters with controversy.


Reductionism chemistry molecule quantum chemistry quantum mechanics structure theoretical chemistry

Authors and affiliations

  • Hans Primas
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Physical ChemistrySwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)ZürichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-10696-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-11314-1
  • Series Print ISSN 0342-4901
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-6603
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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