Reference Materials and Suggested Textbooks

OCW Scholar

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Reference Materials

Periodic Table of the Elements (PDF)

Fundamental Physical Constants (PDF)

This list of constants is the "Frequently Used Constants" collection from the U.S. National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) website Fundamental Physical Constants. This resource contains additional constants in many categories if you're looking for something not contained in the above PDF.

Suggested Textbooks

To search for these books in libraries near you, consult this WorldCat list of 3.091 OCW Scholar Textbooks.

If you are unable to obtain some of these books, Professor Sadoway suggests using any good college-level introductions to general chemistry, materials science, organic chemistry, and biochemistry instead. In each session's reading assignment, summaries of the topics covered should help you find the relevant sections in alternate texts.


The bracketed abbreviations preceding each citation are used throughout this site to refer to each textbook.

Primary Text on General Chemistry

[Saylor] = General Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications. Saylor Foundation, 2011. [A free online textbook]

Alternatively, if you prefer a conventional printed textbook, try this Averill and Eldredge edition from 2007; it is out of print, but you may find a used or library copy. Its companion website has many resources for further study that are linked throughout the course.

  • [A&E] = Averill, B., and P. Eldredge. Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2007. ISBN: 9780805337990. [Companion website]

Supplemental Chapters in Other Texts

[RH] = Horton, R. H., et al. Principles of Biochemistry. 4th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2006. ISBN: 9780131453067.

  • Chapter 3, "Amino Acids and the Primary Structures of Proteins."

[PB-EOC] = Bruice, P. Y. Essential Organic Chemistry. 1st edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2006. ISBN: 9780131498587. [Companion website for 2nd edition]

  • Chapter 17, "Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins."
  • Chapter 20, "Lipids."
  • Chapter 21, "Nucleosides, Nucleotides, and Nucleic Acids."

[PB-OC] = Bruice, P. Y. Organic Chemistry. 5th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2007. ISBN: 9780131963160.

  • Chapter 28, "Synthetic Polymers."

[JS] = Shackelford, J. Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers. 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2004. ISBN: 9780131424869.

  • Chapter 3, "Crystalline Structure"
  • Chapter 4, "Crystal Defects."
  • Chapter 5, "Diffusion."
  • Chapter 9, "Phase Diagrams."
  • Chapter 12, "Ceramics and Glasses."
  • Chapter 13, "Polymers."

[C&S] = Cullity, B. D., and S. R. Stock. Elements of X-Ray Diffraction. 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson, 2001. ISBN: 9780201610918.

  • Chapter 1, "Properties of X-Rays."


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