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The Elements: A Visual Exploration

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 12+

About The Elements: A Visual Exploration

The Elements app is a scrumptious visual exploration of the elements that make up everything around us. More than a simple reference app, The Elements showcases the building blocks of our universe through engaging words and photographs. Like the book, the app neatly mixes art and science, but the app’s interactive environment affords deeper dives into the rich details about each element. Parents and kids alike will never look at the periodic table in the same way again.

Teacher Review

Of all the periodic table apps, The Elements: A Visual Exploration is a rich and engaging love story of the periodic table, told in words and pictures, and allowing you to experience the beauty and fascination of the building blocks of our universe in a way you've never seen before.

Available on the App Store, Elements app is an elegantly designed interactive periodic table that takes the hassle out of chemistry by putting together the basic properties of all elements in a clean and well-structured manner.

For more detailed information about the properties of individual elements, you can click on the element of your interest and Elements app will readily pull up crucial information like year of discovery, density and type of substance. The interactive table also offers data about the precise electron and ionisation properties of each element as well as numerous bits and pieces about their history.

In addition to the extensive catalogue of elements, Elements app also features a nifty search engine that lets you filter out certain elements based on various criteria like bonding, magnetism, melting and boiling point, density and so on.

This app is good for more than showing what are the elements. If you click or tap on any element, it will open a window with additional information about it. You will be able to pinch-zoom any of the 500 objects to bring it up full screen and also spin the objects in 3D. You will find the element's name in over a dozen different languages. 


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App Details

Teacher Ratings


iPad, iPhone


Critical Thinking
Academic Relevance


In-App Purchases - No


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The Elements is based on the internationally best-selling hard cover edition of The Elements by Theodore Gray, Popular Science Magazine’s Gray Matter columnist. But it goes way beyond what is possible on paper.

You start off at a living periodic table where every element is shown with a smoothly rotating sample. To read about tin, tap the tin soldier. To read about gold, tap the gold nugget. Immediately you see the sample filling nearly the entire screen, photographed to razor sharpness and rotating around a complete circle in front of your eyes. Beside that is a column of facts and figures, each of which can be tapped to bring up rich detail and current information through the embedded Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine.

Go to each element's second page and you find a fascinating story about the element, surrounded by carefully photographed objects representing it. Every one of these objects, well over 500 in total, is a freely rotatable, live object that you can examine from all sides and pinch zoom to see in unprecedented detail.

Touch the element name at the top of the page and you can see that element’s name in over a dozen different languages. Choose one and you’ll find that the entire book, stories, captions and all, switches to that language: The Elements includes both the full English original text and over a dozen full translations.

Pinch-zoom or tap any object to bring it up full screen, where you can split into a pair of stereo 3D images. Using inexpensive 3D glasses you can see all 500 objects pop off the screen in 3D, and you can spin the objects, in 3D, with the touch of a finger. You can’t get much more virtually real than that.

If you had a bad experience with chem class in school, this book is the antidote. If you or someone you know is afraid chemistry will be their most boring subject, this book will show them that there’s a lot more to the periodic table than a bunch of numbers and letters.

The full set of features includes:

• More than 500 stunningly photographed, high resolution, rotatable objects
• Detailed and current information from Wolfram|Alpha
• Beautifully composed pages for every Element in the periodic table
• Fun stories and fascinating facts
• All objects pinch-zoom with amazing detail and rotate in 3D
• Engaging introduction explaining the structure of the periodic table
• Fully translated into more than a dozen languages

About the author:

Theodore Gray is a best-selling author and writer of Popular Science Magazine’s Gray Matter column since 2003.

Praise for the Hardcover Edition:

“This glorious book is more than just a guide to the elements; it will fundamentally deepen your appreciation of the substances that make up our world.”
– Oliver Sacks, Author of Awakenings and Uncle Tungsten

“This is the element book that in style and content outshines all element books! The photographs are fantastic in their mod layout on black. In the accompanying short texts, in a few choice words, Gray sketches utility, delves into history, and isn’t afraid to make sharp comments about the world. My reaction: elemental delight.”
– Roald Hoffmann, writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry

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