Chemistry is the study of the building blocks of everything that we know, and it’s such an involved subject. It might seem dull to high schoolers with the periodic table, chemical reaction formulas, and all kinds of symbols and numbers, but that’s because classes never seem to show chemistry in the real world. Millions tuned in to see Chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White in Breaking Bad, and shows one darker side of real world applications. There are so many potential reactions to be drawn from Chemistry, and seeing them in really gives life to the formulas on the page.
We talked about The Elements in Action a couple weeks ago, now there’s the iPad app Chemist, which lets you have your own chemistry lab right on your iPad. Chemical reactions can lead to messy, toxic, explosive, and all together dangerous results if you try them at home. With the Chemist app, you can perform the same experiments all self contained on the iPad allowing you to test results without the danger. The app is set-up with a 3D virtual chemistry lab allowing you to drag in beakers, test tubes, Bunsen burners, and more. Once you get your equipment set up, you can then drag in liquids, solids, or gases into your “lab” to set up your experiment. There are over 200 chemical entities included all labeled, and you can tap on any one to see a few details, and potential reactions. Once you have a few chemicals on the lab bench, you can then drag them on top of each other, and pour one into another to see if a potential reaction exists. If you do find a reaction, the chemical formula appears at the top of the screen, and you get to see a high quality animation.
Everything is designed for a relatively realistic experience including explosions where the glass beakers can shatter, and you just swipe the screen to clean up. It’s quite extraordinary how powerful the app is with the 3D design complete with parallax effects. The chemicals always react accurately, and you get to see the steam, flames, and mixtures of compounds. It’s also made very well for touch with the drag and drop interface that lets you precisely fill, and pour the amounts you want. The only thing missing is more detail on the compounds you’re using, and a little feedback on why such a reaction exists. It’s a great Classroom addition, and even fun at home to make Chemistry a lot more interesting, and engaging.
Chemist ($4.99 -> Free, iPad) is a top notch educational resource that is free for a limited time. It’s one of the best iPad educational apps around.