See I. N. Levine, Physical Chemistry (4th ed. 1995); G. M. Barrow, Physical Chemistry (6th ed. 1996); P. W. Atkins, Physical Chemistry (6th ed. 1997); D. A. McQuarrie and J. D. Simon, Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach (1997).
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:
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.