Project Details Revision of "Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry" and the Appendices (3rd edition)

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 1981
End Date:
01 September 2007
Division Name:
Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division
Division No.:


The first IUPAC Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physicochemical Quantities and Units (the Green Book) of which this is the direct successor, was published in 1969, with the object of ‘securing clarity and precision, and wider agreement in the use of symbols, by chemists in different countries, among physicists, chemists and engineers, and by editors of scientific journals’. Subsequent revisions have taken account of many developments in the field, culminating in the major extension and revision represented by the 1988 edition under the simplified title Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry. This Third Edition is a further revision of the material to reflect the experience of the contributors and users with the previous editions. The book will be systematically brought up to date and new sections will be added.

The Green Book strives to improve the exchange of scientific information between different disciplines in the international pursuit of scientific research. In a rapidly expanding volume of scientific literature where each discipline has a tendency to retreat into its own jargon this book attempts to provide a compilation of widely used terms and symbols from many sources together with brief understandable definitions and explanations of best practice. Tables of important fundamental constants and conversion factors are included.

This is the definitive guide for scientists, science publishers and organizations working across a multitude of disciplines requiring internationally approved nomenclature in the area of Physical Chemistry.


Latest PDF release

The Revision of the Green Book: Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry consists of preparation of the third edition. The typing of the whole text into a standard computer-readable format (Revtex) is taking time. It is being carried out under the supervision of M. Quack and a meeting of I.1 is planned for January 1999 in order to finalize the text and get it to the printers. The main changes with respect to the second edition (Mills et al. 1993), except for producing the book on a computer, involve extensions in the field of surface chemistry and the treatment of uncertainties of measurement.

A complete draft document was submitted to public review comments until 31 March 2006.
> provisional recommendations > abstract05/stohner_310306.html

Print release
Sep 2007 – Book published by RSC, 2007 [ISBN 0 85404 433 7; ISBN-13 978 0 85404 433 7] > book description; announcement to be published in Chem. Int. Nov 2007

Reprinted in 2008:
E.R. Cohen, T. Cvitas, J.G. Frey, B. Holmstrom, K. Kuchitsu, R. Marquardt, I. Mills, F. Pavese, M. Quack, J. Stohner, H.L. Strauss, M. Takami, and A.J. Thor, “Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry”, IUPAC Green Book, 3rd Edition, 2nd Printing, IUPAC and RSC Publishing, Cambridge (2008)
? Need a hardback copy ? visit the RSC Online Shop

Concise Summary
A 4-page Concise Summary is reprinted in the July-Aug 2011 Chem. Int. issue; see pdf – download from CI July contents.

Online release
1st online release – April 2011  (superseded by a release in Dec 2012; see below)
2nd online release (same as second printing) – Dec 2012 update  full text searchable PDF 1.5MB

> See following project for the preparation of the next edition (start date: Nov 2014)

page last update 12 Feb 2020