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iPad App Review: Molecules by Theodore Gray iOS Review
      #47386 - 12/04/14 09:38 PM

The 5-star sequel to The Elements and the definitive ebook on everything you ever wanted to know about molecules.

Before I begin the review, I'd like to point out that I am a huge fan of Theodore Gray, although I had never heard of him prior to owning The Elements for iOS. While reviewing that extraordinary piece of work, I became intrigued by the author's unerring ability to fill the book with nothing but interesting bits. For example, the first time I launched the app I randomly selected lead as my initial topic. The very first sentence read: "As few as two grams of lead is a lethal dose, when it's delivered from the barrel of a gun." All of my concerns that the app would be polished, but dry and inaccessible, evaporated in an instant. The next few hours passed quickly as I made my way through the periodic table. Yeah, I was entertained, but I was also learning a surprising amount as I went. On a whim, I took a moment to find the author's contact email on the website and fired-off a quick kudos. Imagine my surprise when I received a reply about 15 minutes later from the man, himself. We conversed back and forth a few times, and he left me with the distinct impression that he is every bit as interesting as I suspected. In the few years since that contact, my (then) 8-year old son has greedily devoured The Elements, and read both of his hardcopy Mad Science books to the point where they started to fall apart. As I said, I'm a huge fan of Theodore Gray.

Molecules is the official sequel to The Elements, and it's every bit as good. Densely packed with interesting information, Mr. Gray continues to make science accessible to non-scientists by explaining everything without the use of complex formulae or mathematical equations. Remember, Molecules is not a textbook, and doesn't pretend to be. This is a science book for non-scientists, but in spite of that, you never get the feeling that the author is talking down to you. What comes through instead is his passion for the topic and his desire to share that passion with the rest of us. Although I would easily recommend this app on its content alone, Molecules, like its predecessor, is such a thing of beauty and so darn fun to play with that it can't even really be described as an ebook. As you read about Mr. Gray's favorite 348 molecules, you will see 500 different rotatable images of real-world objects in beautiful HD glory. Further, you will have the chance to bend, squeeze, and twist these molecules using the University of Illinois NAMD (Scalable Molecular Dynamics) engine, which means that they will react to your manipulation in scientifically accurate ways. Oh, and they're also fun. Turn up the heat and watch them jiggle; jiggle them, and watch their temperatures rise. Well, you get the idea.


If you have even a passing interest in science, or just looking for an app to showcase your iOS device, you would be hard pressed to find better than Molecules. It's beautiful, informative, and fun; and less expensive than the non-interactive paper versions.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Presentation: - 5 - Beautiful presentation, throughout.
Content: - 5 - Densely packed with everything you ever wanted to know about molecules, and nothing else. Accessible, informative, and fun.

App Facts:

Developer: Touchpress
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Price: $13.99
Buy App: Molecules by Theodore Gray

Reviewed by Tom Slayton


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