The Important Concepts

The universally accepted theory of chemistry as a synthesis of the 19th century notions of chemical affinity, molecular structure and thermodynamics, with the theories of physics, which developed in the early 20th century, has gained almost universal acceptance as a closed set of concepts under the heading of Physical Chemistry. For more than fifty years textbooks on the subject have been revised and reorganized with the addition of preciously little new material. Today, these treatises are standardized over the world and translated into all relevant languages, emulating the standard models of particle physics and cosmology.

The seminal theories are respected as received wisdom, all flaws have been rationalized and the only remaining challenge is to dress up the old material with electronic wizardry, as if theoretical innovation ceased to operate in 1950. If indeed, there is nothing new or controversial in theoretical chemistry, with everything securely locked up in computer software at different levels of theory, the excitement is gone and dissident views are taboo. However, the nature of knowledge and of science is different. There are no closed books, not even on Euclidean geometry, and certainly not on chemistry. The standard models neglect to tell us how matter originates, what limits the variety of atomic matter, what is a chemical bond, and why is it necessary to assume the most fundamental concept that dictates the stability of matter – the exclusion principle – on faith? Even if these questions cannot be answered, they should be asked continually, maybe from a point of view overlooked by the founding theorists. It is in this spirit that the important concepts, fundamental to chemistry, will be re-examined in Part I of this work.


Angular Momentum Quantum Theory Wave Packet Important Concept Orbital Angular Momentum 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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