Why The iPad Rocks For Chemistry

Apple and Theodore Gray are at it again. In the past, both have made us rethink how we view technology and the elements, respectively. But now, the two have joined forces. Tomorrow, Apple releases it's much-anticipated iPad. Tomorrow, Gray releases an iPad version of his book The Elements.
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Early adopters of the iPad absolutely must download Gray's book. The page previews alone are stunning and almost enough incentive to go stand in line at an Apple store Saturday morning. It is that amazing. Xeni Jardin at boingboing has a great review of both the iPad and Gray's latest creation. But briefly, you can not only spin the crisp images of the samples with your fingertips, but you can also view them in stereo 3D. You can rotate multiple objects at the same time. Reading about gold? Tap on the WolframAlpha button to get the current market price. According to Gray, "The Elements is the closest thing youʼre going to find to a magic book: if Harry Potter checked out a book about the periodic table from the Hogwarts library, this would be it." He tells C&EN that "this is the best, most fun, most magical piece of software/book that I've ever been involved with.  I can't wait to see how people like it when they can finally get their hands on it Saturday morning.  Based on the comments I have gotten from the hardcover edition, I think it's going to get a lot of people excited about a topic they don't normally find exciting." "This is so much more than what it's possible to do on paper," he adds. And that's why the iPad will rock for chemistry. Imagine what the future of chemistry textbooks holds. Everything The Elements can do is impressive given it's incredibly short development time. Like any new release, there are a few cosmetic tweaks coming in the near future (for example, the ability to change font size or view pages in portrait rather than landscape orientation).  "But," Gray says, "people should not get the idea that the current version is in any way incomplete: We concentrated on creating a polished, complete experience, a pure vision if you will.  Now we can go back and dot a few i's and cross a few t's." The iPad version of The Elements is available at the Apple Apps Store for $13.99.

Author: Rachel Pepling

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