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Apps for Learning - Chemistry


Continuing our ongoing series of guides into finding the best educational apps, we move from the admittedly more practically applicable domain of foreign languages to something much more based around personal interest: chemistry. It's probably a fairly safe bet that if you asked someone which school subject they wished they'd paid more attention to, they would name one of the sciences. Chemistry would still probably be the least likely answer to crop up, physics has the advantage of outer space and biology has the advantage of David Attenborough, but no matter how big of a Breaking Bad fan you are, it's probably not going to be enough.

It's a shame, chemistry is fascinating and building up a deeper understanding of it can really bolster your grasp on the way the world works. Chemistry is literally the study of change, how elements change state, how they react to each other and how those reactions fuel all life on the planet. Knowing more about it can benefit everything from mixing drinks to cooking to personal health to cleanliness. It can also avail you of some seriously impressive party tricks, such as this one (but, you know, be careful).

Accordingly, here is a list of weird and wonderful apps that are enjoyable in their own right, but can also help you gain a better understanding of chemistry.

Periodic Droid

The periodic table is a difficult thing to grasp. Getting a good idea of the basic layout is only the start, you have to learn how all the elements relate to each other, react to each other and even their history (look up the history of radium if you're in the mood for a really depressing tale). This android app makes that process much, much easier in spectacular fashion. The interface is easy to get around, there's detailed information about each element (but you can link to Wikipedia through the app if needs be) and there are quizzes to help you retain all that information. No more writing it all on your arm.


If the periodic table is tricky, organic chemistry is just plain cruel. Even looking at molecular structures gives me a migraine, but somehow Molecules manages to administer an antidote. Using this app you can view and interact with specific molecular structures, learning what goes into them, what happens when you break them apart or combine them with other ones. The app comes with a standard list, but you can scroll through the library and add any other ones that you need or are just generally interested in looking it. It's a very slick, very intuitive little app.

Chemist - Virtual Chem Lab

This one is exactly as it sounds. You are given a virtual, touch-controlled chemistry lab where you can experiment without fear of melting all the skin off your fingers or turning yourself into a Spider-Man villain. The fully 3D interface allows you to mix chemical compounds, heat them, transfer catalysts and plenty more besides. 200 chemicals are available as standard with more available through the app's library, the possibilities are practically endless. The beauty of chem lab is that it has just as much merit as a means of messing about to kill 5 minutes as it does as a learning tool, but you'll probably end up learning something either way.


Easily the most popular app on this list, this addictive little game starts you out with four basic elements (in the traditional sense): earth, air, fire and water. By combining these elements you create new ones and there are 390 out there to find. The possibilities do eventually cross the boundary from science into fantasy, but many of the combinations do follow a basic scientific logic.

Chem Pro Chemistry Tutor

Games and visualised examples are all good fun, but sometimes you just need the information as it comes, presented in an engaging, memorable way. Chem Pro is simply the best app out there for chemistry tutoring. Containing over 80 video lessons, 9 different sets of flash cards, a periodic table, a unit conversion tool, a molecular calculator and an equation sheet. There is enough educational material contained within the confines of this little app to see you through for dozens of hours, whether you're revising for an actual exam or you're just interested in broadening your horizons.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Apps for Learning - Chemistry Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Rating: 5

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