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September 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 15)

VSB Chemistry

  • Stunning periodic table interface
  • Must watch lessons sequentially, lags when opening periodic table
Platform: iPad/iPhone  
Cost: Free

The Virtual Smart Books (VSB) Chemistry provides an interactive periodic table and six accompanying lessons that cover topics such as the atom, chemical equations, and chemical reactions. I must say, I’ve played around with many periodic table apps, and this one has one of the coolest interfaces I’ve seen. Upon the user tapping on an element, the screen zooms into that element in a 3D-view of the periodic table. Above the table itself an animated representation of the given element appears. The basic information (atomic radius, atomic weight, etc.) is automatically displayed, although users can select the “fun facts” tab in order to display additional information about the element’s physical properties, occurrence in nature, and common uses. The accompanying lessons are informative, but it is annoying that one must watch a video in its entirety before being granted access to the subsequent lesson.

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