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The Elements by Theodore Gray

By Touchpress Limited


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Of all the periodic table apps, there is only one which Stephen Fry described as “Alone worth the price of an iPad!”. The Elements is not just a reference app, it 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.

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 iPad’s splendor and power may be best shown by The Elements... it’s not like any ebook you’ve seen. The periodic table of elements comes to life.”
– USA Today

“It's dazzling—it makes science feel like magic in your hands.”

– Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing


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 English, Catalan, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish


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 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


What's New in Version 2.0.5

Thanks for updating – we’ve made some behind-the-scenes performance and stability improvements to make your experience even smoother. We’ve also completely overhauled our app discovery section so it’s now easier for you to find related apps you’ll love, and hear about our exciting upcoming releases.


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Customer Reviews

These are the apps you were looking for

So you bought your shiny new iOS device with all that extra storage? Excellent decision! Because this is a classic example of what kind of app belongs on your iPhone or iPad. You and your family will enjoy using this, and appreciate the thought and care that went into those animations. (I also own the gorgeous print edition of this book, the app just gets more reading time and general use)

It is informative and fun to read and even little ones will like spinning crystals and other elemental objects while you explain their significance. Little Scientists need to start somewhere!

The fact that I can carry these (I also own the companion apps -they're different but so worth it) all on my phone and get them on my iPad too at no extra charge (same account) is truly amazing.

Missing something...

Doesn't feel like an essential (lol) app anymore. There's nothing that cannot be found in his Elements In Action and a good reference app like EleMints or Wolfram-Alpha proper.

Missing mass spectroscopy lines and other pertinent info that is included on the flashcards (paper, not app) & book. Kinda clunky in its display, though it loads smoothly. Ok app in the $3-5 range, not more. Not sure how much it took to produce this, so I do not want to discredit the designers & author; I do enjoy the paper flashcards & book. But I won't mince words: I don't remember there being info cribbed from Wolfram-Alpha in the physical copies or this app in 2010; even if it makes it easier to keep entries up to date, I would have liked to have seen the original info; or entries comparable to other periodic apps. Seemed the book was less minimalist. It's cool to see actual examples, but I wanted more.


It seems intended for children. Starts with a kindergarten doing about all the elements, sort of like the alphabet song.
The interface looks dated (think 1998 style websites). The narrative descriptions are informal,not professional. The onky useful info is pulled from Wolfram Alpha, which makes me wonder why I am paying for this app - I could go straight to Wolfram. In short: even at 80% discount it's not worth the money.

The Elements by Theodore Gray
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This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $2.99
  • Category: Books
  • Updated:
  • Version: 2.0.5
  • Size: 1.67 GB
  • Languages: English, Catalan, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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