Basic Mathematics for Biochemists
(2nd edition)
Reviews
Publication details
Published by Oxford University Press
Oxford and
New York.
Price:
paperback (ISBN 0 19 850216 8) £21.99 or $34.50.
The prices were last checked on 23rd November 2004 but may change without notice.
The hardback edition (ISBN 0 19 850217 6) is no longer available.
An order form can be obtained from the publisher in
Oxford or
New York.
This is a new edition of the book published under the same title by Chapman and Hall in 1981.
Two chapters (the first and the last) are completely new, and the remainder have been thoroughly
revised to make the treatment more suitable for modern students of biochemistry.
Availability

and 

This book is available from
Amazon.com
and
Amazon.co.uk.
Chapter and Section Titles
 Preface
 Basic Ideas
 Introduction
 Manipulating algebraic expressions
 Fractions
 Converting between fractions and decimals
 Relating numbers to powers of ten
 Operations that leave expressions unchanged
 Simplifying fractions
 Probability as a mathematical concept
 Permutations and combinations
 Having a rough idea of the answer
 Appendix: notes and solutions to the problems in Box 1.1
 Problems
 The Language of Mathematics
 Introduction
 Priority rules for operators
 The summation sign
 Functions
 Constants, variables and parameters
 Dimensional analysis
 Plotting graphs
 Precision
 Problems
 Exponents and Logarithms
 Integer powers
 Fractional exponents
 Addition and subtraction of exponents
 Logarithms
 Common logarithms
 Negative numbers have no logarithms
 Natural logarithms
 Logarithms to base 2
 Exponential decay
 Logarithms as a method of scaling
 Products of equilibrium constants
 Logarithms of dimensioned quantities?
 Metabolic "efficiency"
 Redox potentials
 Standard states
 Dependence of redox potentials on pH
 Problems
 Differential Calculus
 Coordinate geometry
 Slope of a curve
 Rapid differentiation
 Derivatives of sums and products
 Derivative of a "function of a function"
 Derivative of a ratio
 Higher derivatives
 Notation
 Maxima
 Minima
 A note on terminology
 Points of inflection
 Sketching curves
 Problems
 Integral Calculus
 Increases in area
 Definite and indefinite integrals
 Simple integrals
 Other common integrals
 Integral of 1/x
 Differential equations
 Numerical integration: evaluating the area under a curve
 Problems
 Solving Equations
 Linear equations in one unknown
 Rearranging equations
 Simultaneous linear equations
 Determinants
 Quadratic equations
 Graphical solution of equations
 Newton’s method
 Approximate methods
 Problems
 Partial Differentiation
 The meaning of a partial derivative
 Exact and inexact differentials
 Leastsquares fitting of the Michaelis–Menten equation
 Problems
 Ideas of Statistics
 Introduction
 Variation
 Averages
 Measures of dispersion
 The idea of a population
 Continuous distributions
 Thinking statistically
 Problems
 Notes and Solutions to Problems
 Glossary
 Index
Errors in the book as printed

p.6, expression after line 4, and equation following it:
 –6ab in the numerator should be –12ab

p. 7, first displayed expression in Section 1.3
 The third fraction in the expression should be 3/10 (instead of 3/100)

p.8, equation after line 5, and the next equation three lines down
 In the first equation, (2 – 6)/(15 – 6) – (1 – 15)/(6 – 15) should be
(2 × 6)/(15 × 6)  (1 × 15)/(6 × 15),
i.e. four out of the five minus signs in the expression should be multiplication signs. A very similar error occurs in the next equation,
where (2 – 2)/(15 – 2) – (1 – 5)/(6 – 5) should be
(2 × 2)/(15 × 2) – (1 × 5)/(6 × 5)

p. 26, answer 2
 Delete the second
this
(at the beginning of the last line).
 p. 28, problem 1.3(e)
 The expression given has no rational factors; to give the solution shown on p. 201 it should be 9x^{2} + 12xy + 4y^{2}.

p. 34, Box 2.3, part B
 The decimal point in 8.7 should be written above the line. This may be difficult to show correctly on the web
as not all browsers understand the code, but in principle this should be correct: 8·7

p. 37, Box 2.5: line starting with 12/2/3
 6/32 should be 6/3=2
 p. 35, Box 2.4
 Line 3 of the righthand column should read NOT 15^{2} = 225. Being a negative statement the form actually given is not wrong, but there is no logical reason to give it rather than any other negative statement.

p. 49, Fig. 2.7 legend (a)
 For
different
read difficult
.

p. 56 Problem 2.1(e)
 See correction to solution (p. 202) below.

p. 67, line 6 from the bottom
 The word
No
is missing from the beginning of the line. The sentence should read
No corresponding formula exists for calculating logarithms to any other base...
.

p. 73, line 13 of 2nd paragraph
 For
Similarly K_{a} means
read Similarly pK_{a} means
(add p
)

p. 77, line 2 of 2nd paragraph
 For
Suppose that *gkcapdeltaG^{0} =
read Suppose that *gkcapdeltaG^{0}_{1} =
(add subscript 1)

p. 77, last line of 2nd paragraph
 For
E ln K_{1} = K_{2}
read E ln K_{1} = ln K_{2}
(add ln)

p. 78, line 4
 The value of the Faraday constant is 96485 coulomb mol^{–1}.

p. 78, first displayed equation on the page
 Add
volt
after 0.77
in the middle expression. The unit written at the end of the line was intended to refer to both terms, but to be 100% clear it might be better to write "volt" after the second 0.77
as well.

p. 84, second displayed equation
 This should read *gkcapdeltaE^{0}' = *gkcapdeltaG^{0}'/nF

p. 87, line 1
 For
any product
read a product or ratio

p. 87, Series of equations near the bottom of the page
 The third line should read –0.11 + 0.03pK_{a} – 0.09pH (i.e. the second minus should be plus).

p. 88, Fig 3.2
 The equation in the upper text of the graph should read E^{o} =
+0.03 – 0.09pH instead of
E^{o} = –0.03 – 0.09pH
 p. 90, Problem 3.1(i)
 See correction to p. 203 below.

p. 93, line 16
 x = –b/a should read x = –a/b

p. 103, 4th displayed equation
 The approximately equal sign should be an ordinary = sign.

p. 115, 5th displayed equation
 This is identical to the equation above it, and should be deleted.

p. 115, last displayed equation
 Insert = before the second pK_{a}

p. 117, 2nd line of 1st displayed equation
 Delete
exp
before the open curly bracket.

p. 118, Problem 4.6
 The y in
and y is a constant
should have a tilde.

p. 122, Example 5.1
 The function should be y = 6x^{2} – 2x + 5 instead of
y = 4x^{2} – 2x + 5 in order to give the integral shown.

p. 124, line 5
will produce in a
should read: will produce ln a
.

p. 127, first displayed equation
 The numerator of the second term on the righthand side should be A_{2}.

p. 127, Example 5.3 line for from the end
 For
so P + Q
read so P = Q
(replace plus by equals).

p. 134, Mechanism in the middle of the page
 The second step should be shown as reversible, with a rate constant k_{–2} for the reverse reaction.

p. 136, penultimate line of text
 The first (y_{1} + y_{2})h/2 should be (y_{0} + y_{1})h/2. (The second time this expression occurs in the line it is correct).

p. 137, penultimate equation
 The equation should read ch^{2} = (y_{2}  2y_{1} + y_{0})/2

p. 138, first equation
 The expression in square brackets at the righthand side should be
ax + (1/2)bx^{2} + (1/3)cx^{3}, i.e. the fraction (1/2) should be moved to the other side of the + sign.

p. 139 Problem 5.1(e)
 The denominator of the expression to be integrated should be 2 – x (minus, not plus), to give the solution shown on p. 205.

p. 140 Problem 5.8
 The last symbol in the first displayed equation should be c not C. Three lines down, the L in g/L should not be italic.

p. 163, fourth equation (expression for [G^{2–}])
 The coefficient 5 × 10^{–10} should be 2 × 10^{–10}

p. 165, second equation
 Delete the superscript 2 at the end of the equation. Note.When this error was first reported on this web page the page number was wrongly given as p. 163. There is a different correction to be made on p. 163.

p. 167, Problem 6.2
 The symbol V_{1} near the end of the first line should be
v_{1}.

p. 167, problem 6.3(a)
 See the correction to the solution on p. 207.

p. 170, first equation
 The middle expression should be R/p instead of R/T_{p}

p. 171, last sentence of last complete paragraph
 For
if we recall the expression for the derivative of a ratio (Section 4.6)
read if we recall the expression for the derivative of a product (Section 4.4)
.

p. 185, Box 8.3, line 9
equal to ...
 The summation should be *gkcapsigmax not *gkcapsigman.

p. 193, Box 8.3 continued, table in the middle of the page
 The value of 9.64 shown in line 3 as the squared of 3.1 should be 9.91, and the sum shown below it should be 39.14.
In consequence the value of s^{2} shown in the first line of text after the table should be 2.807, not 2.817. However, the value s = 1.675 is correct.

p. 192, legend to Fig. 8.1, line 2
 For
superimposed on panel (c)
read superimposed on panel (e)
.

p. 192, line 6 from the bottom
 For
and a sample mean close to the population standard deviation
read and a sample standard deviation close to the population standard deviation
.

p. 196, Table 8.1
 The value in the Probability corresponding to 4 in the first column should be 0.1730, not 0.0976.
This error affects all of the later entries in the Cumulative probability column, which should be 0.4115, 0.5918, 0.7468, 0.8598, 0.9312, 0.9709, 0.9905,
replacing 0.3360, 0.5163 ..., and also requires correction of the text on p. 197 (see below).

p. 197, line 2 (effect of error in Table 8.1: see above)
 For
This means there is chance of 1 – 0.8557, i.e. 0.1443, or about 14% of observing at least nine
read This means there is a chance of 1 – 0.9312, i.e. 0.0688, or about 7% of observing at least nine
.

p 192, line 13
 The end of the sentence should read
and a sample standard deviation close to the population standard deviation
.
 p. 201, Problem 1.3(e)
 See correction to p. 28 above.

p. 202, Problem 2.1(e)
 The solution should be 3.617. (The solution given would be correct for summation from i = 1 to 6).
 p. 203, Solution to problem 3.1(i)
 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 24 (not 120, which is 5!).

p. 205, Solution to problem 5.1(e)
 See the correction to the problem (p. 139, above).

p. 207, Solution to problem 6.3(a)
 The value of x should be 1, not –1.

p. 207, Solution to problems 6.3(e–f)
 The solution given for problem 6.3(e) is actually the solution to problem 6.3(f); the solution to problem 6.3(e) is missing. (It will be added here after checking)

p. 207, Solution to problem 6.6(c)
 The value should be 41, not 51.

p. 208, Fourth line of page (remarks following solutions to problem 6.6)
 For
This is normal is scientific problems
read This is normal in scientific problems
.

p. 208, Solution to problems 6.1112
 The solution given for problem 6.11 is actually the solution to problem 6.12; the solution to problem 6.11 is missing. (It will be added here after checking)

p. 209, Solution to problem 8.6(c)
 1.48/7^{0.5} = 0.56 (not 0.60).

p. 216, the definition of point of inflection is not quite correct (though it is correct for the sort of functions normally
encountered in elementary biochemistry). Rather than stating that the second derivative is zero it would be better to say that it is
normally zero, though it may also be undefined, in certain cases beyond the scope of the book.
This list was last updated on 22nd December 2006.
If you notice any other errors, please let me know. I thank the following correspondents for drawing my attention to most of those noted:
 David M. Behrman (Somerset, Kentucky)
 Fred Boogerd (Amsterdam)
 Isadora CornishBowden (Marseilles)
 Simon Harrison (Bristol)
 Y. F. Leung (Hong Kong)
 ShuKun Lin (Basle)
 Bernd MüllerFembeck (Austria)