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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 2.0.4

Thanks for updating! We’ve fixed a few little bugs to make the experience even smoother, and bonded the app with its extraordinary new sequel, Molecules by Theodore Gray so you can switch between them.

Rate it and leave a review – we’d love to hear your reaction!


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Customer Reviews

Great, but expensive

Pro: It's a great multimedia app, localized to a lot of languages, including Russian. It's best with Elements in Action application. You can really feel each element: scientific data, pictures, stories and (with EiA) videos.

Cons: It takes too much memory, so this app is often the first candidate for deletion. Could we use some compression technology "on the fly", unload unused languages, have a choice of high/low resolution? Also the price is too big by AppStore standards.

Advice / feature request: it would be nice to see atoms and crystal pictures as larger 3D models. Also the way to change pages is counter-intuitive.

I've been wanting this for a long time...

It's beautiful, but it's lacking a little mostly in that the graphics and look a bit over compressed, but the program is HUGE so they have no choice but to compress it.

Everything is spinable or has video. It's pretty neat.

I wish I had this for science class.

I'm a science geek, but I really thought I'd play with it for HOURS. Not the case, so that's a little disappointing considering the cost.

They've definitely made some improvements. The text is better (I think it was graphics before) and it's very easy to enlarge/shrink. All the element data (from Wolfram) appears to be in the program (before it seemed like it was downloading it every time).

I think this could easily be a 5 star app. And for the price it should be...

More glitz than substance

Although Elements looks great at first glance, it very quickly bottoms out. It's like an impressive movie facade without much behind it.

My first exploration was to learn about bronze. Although I could read the properties of copper and tin, and see one ornamental example, I learned nothing about bronze in history, which had a lot more to do with tools and weapons than art. Given we have named a whole era after this metal, I was expecting a lot more context and depth.

And with the relatively high price of this app, the lack of depth is particularly disappointing.

The Elements by Theodore Gray
View In iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $13.99
  • Category: Books
  • Updated:
  • Version: 2.0.4
  • 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 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.

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