Dictionary Definition

physicochemical adj : relating to physical chemistry

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Dependent on the joint action of both physical and chemical processes.

Extensive Definition

Physical chemistry, is the application of physics to macroscopic, microscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems It is mostly defined as a large field of chemistry, in which several sub-concepts are applied; the inclusion of quantum mechanics is used to illustrate the application of physical chemistry to atomic and particulate chemical interaction or experimentation.
Physical chemistry is mostly referred to as a macromolecular doctrine, as the majority of the principles on which physical chemistry was founded are composed entirely of macromolecular concepts, such as colloids.
The relationships that physical chemistry tries to resolve include the effects of:
  1. Intermolecular forces on the physical properties of materials (plasticity, tensile strength, surface tension in liquids).
  2. Reaction kinetics on the rate of a reaction.
  3. The identity of ions on the electrical conductivity of materials.


The term "physical chemistry" was probably first introduced by Mikhail Lomonosov in 1752, when he presented a lecture course entitled "A Course in True Physical Chemistry" (Russian: «Курс истинной физической химии») before the students of Petersburg University.
The foundation of modern physical chemistry is thought to have been laid in 1876 by Josiah Willard Gibbs after the publishing of his paper, On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances, which contained several of the cornerstones of physical chemistry, such as Gibbs energy, chemical potentials, Gibbs phase rule and subsequent naming and accreditation of enthalpy to Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and to macromolecular processes.
The first scientific journal for publications specifically in the field of physical chemistry was the German journal, Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie, founded in 1887 by Wilhelm Ostwald and Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff.



  1. Levine, I. N. (1978). Physical Chemistry McGraw-Hill publishing ISBN 0-07-037418-X
  2. Atkins, P.W. (1978). Physical Chemistry Oxford University Press ISBN 0-7167-3539-X
  3. Berry, S. R., Rice, S. A, Ross, J. (2000). Physical Chemistry 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510589-3
  4. Hunter, R. J. (1993) Introduction to Modern Colloid Science Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-855386-2
  5. Hiemenz, P. C., Rajagopalan, R., (1997). Principles of Colloid and Surface Chemistry Marcel Dekker Inc., New York. ISBN 0-8247-9397-8
  6. Moore, W.J. (1963). Physical Chemistry 4th ed. Longman publishers/London/Prentice Hall, NJ.
physicochemical in Afrikaans: Fisiese chemie
physicochemical in Arabic: كيمياء فيزيائية
physicochemical in Bengali: ভৌত রসায়ন
physicochemical in Belarusian: Фізічная хімія
physicochemical in Bosnian: Fizikalna hemija
physicochemical in Bulgarian: Физикохимия
physicochemical in Catalan: Química física
physicochemical in Czech: Fyzikální chemie
physicochemical in Danish: Fysisk kemi
physicochemical in German: Physikalische Chemie
physicochemical in Modern Greek (1453-): Φυσικοχημεία
physicochemical in Spanish: Fisicoquímica
physicochemical in Esperanto: Fizika kemio
physicochemical in Persian: شیمی‌فیزیک
physicochemical in Faroese: Alisevnafrøði
physicochemical in French: Chimie physique
physicochemical in Galician: Química Física
physicochemical in Korean: 물리화학
physicochemical in Croatian: Fizikalna kemija
physicochemical in Indonesian: Kimia fisik
physicochemical in Italian: Chimica fisica
physicochemical in Hebrew: כימיה פיזיקלית
physicochemical in Lombard: Chímica física
physicochemical in Malay (macrolanguage): Kimia fizik
physicochemical in Dutch: Fysische chemie
physicochemical in Japanese: 物理化学
physicochemical in Norwegian: Fysikalsk kjemi
physicochemical in Norwegian Nynorsk: Fysikalsk kjemi
physicochemical in Polish: Chemia fizyczna
physicochemical in Portuguese: Físico-química
physicochemical in Russian: Физическая химия
physicochemical in Slovak: Fyzikálna chémia
physicochemical in Serbian: Физичка хемија
physicochemical in Serbo-Croatian: Fizička hemija
physicochemical in Sundanese: Kimia fisik
physicochemical in Finnish: Fysikaalinen kemia
physicochemical in Swedish: Fysikalisk kemi
physicochemical in Thai: เคมีฟิสิกส์
physicochemical in Vietnamese: Hóa lý
physicochemical in Turkish: Fiziksel kimya
physicochemical in Ukrainian: Фізична хімія
physicochemical in Chinese: 物理化学
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