The Elements

Developer: Touch Press Inc

Current Version: 1.0.6

Last Updated: 4 years ago

Download Size: 2.7 GB - Download


The Elements is a special OS X edition of the highly acclaimed award-winning iPad app now downloaded over 850,000 times. It is based on the best-selling book by Theodore Gray, Popular Science Magazine’s Gray Matter columnist. The app goes way beyond what is possible on paper and this OS X edition now features live video demonstrations and experiments.

You start off at a living periodic table where every element is shown with a smoothly rotating sample. To read about tin, click on the tin soldier. To read about gold, select the gold nugget. Immediately you see the sample filling nearly the entire screen, photographed to razor sharpness and rotating around a complete circle in front of your eyes. Beside that is a column of facts and figures, each of which can be selected to bring up the list of elements sorted by that order.

Click on the Wolfram|Alpha logo to get even more rich detail and current information through the embedded Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine.

Go to each element's second page and you find a fascinating story about the element, surrounded by carefully photographed objects representing it. Every one of these objects, well over 500 in total, is a freely rotatable, live object that can be examined from all sides and zoomed up to experience in unprecedented detail.

Select the element name at the top of the page and you can see that element’s name in over a dozen different languages. Choose one and you’ll find that the entire book, stories, captions and all, switches to that language: The Elements includes both the full English original text and 16 other languages.

Any object can also be presented as a pair of stereo 3D images. Using inexpensive 3D glasses you can see all 500 objects pop off the screen in 3D, and you can spin the objects, in 3D, with the touch of a mouse. You can’t get much more virtually real than that.

And now 70 elements feature a third page with demonstration videos of the element in action, unique content for this MacOS version of the app. See what happens when chlorine gas is squirted into a saucepan of molten sodium, when several gallons of liquid nitrogen are poured into a lake, or when white phosphorus is ignited in an atmosphere of pure oxygen.

If you had a bad experience with chem class in school, this book is the antidote. If you or someone you know is afraid chemistry will be their most boring subject, this book will show them that there’s a lot more to the periodic table than a bunch of numbers and letters.


Features include:

• More than 500 stunningly photographed, high resolution, rotatable objects
• Detailed current information from Wolfram|Alpha
• Beautifully composed pages for every element in the periodic table
• Fun stories and fascinating facts
• All objects zoom with amazing detail and rotate in 3D
• Engaging introduction explaining the structure of the periodic table
• More than 70 demonstration videos showing spectacular element properties
• Fully translated into 18 languages
• Supports Retina display on MacBook Pro


Minimum requirements:

OS X 10.7 or better (Lion), Processor: 2.0GHz, RAM: 4GB, Graphics: 256MB

Recommended system specification:

OS X 10.8 or better (Mountain Lion), Processor: 2.0Ghz, RAM: 4GB, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M or better



English, British English, Catalan, German, Latin American Spanish, French, Korean, Croatian, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish, Simplified Chinese


Release Notes:

Fixed compatibility issue with late 2012 27" iMacs.


Most Helpful Reviews

Version 1.0.1
Review by astroclubguy

Finally on OS X - I had no problems downloading and installing this magnificent app. It's every bit as beautiful as the iOS versions and, I think, is essential to anyone interested in the periodic table.

Found helpful by 41 out of 53 people
Version 1.0.6
Review by Ccccxxlauxia

Won’t work in newer MacBooks - I bought this app and I thought from the good reviews to give it a try. There was this one guy on here who gave it one star saying it didn’t work for him on his 15’. I can confirm that on newer Macbooks this doesn’t work at all on. I have both a 2010 Macbook Pro and a 2014 Macbook Pro Retina and the app works fine in the 2010 Macbook, but doesn’t work at all on my new Macbook. I just get a black screen and nothing else, I tried restarting and haven’t received any results. I wouln’t recommened this product to anyone with a newer verison of Mac becuase I feel you’d run into the same problem as I did. Can’t really rate the app since I never used it, I really wish they would fix this already!!!!!!!!!

Found helpful by 24 out of 25 people

More Reviews for Current Version

Version 1.0.6
Review by osthill

Doesn’t work - If you’re using a late 2011 15" Macbook Pro, don’t buy this app. When I launched the application, I was presented with a black screen… and that was it. None of the menu items do anything, and when you try to use the Help functionality, you’re simply told that "Help isn’t available for The Elements." At least they don’t sugar coat it.

Found helpful by 7 out of 8 people
Version 1.0.6
Review by traveladam

MUCH Better with latest release - Finally, a release that fixes the issue that you couldn’t see the 3D images and rotate them. Overall, it’s a very good application and educational. I would like to see more on HOW they get the elements, such as mining or how gases are collected, basically, where do we find the elements in nature or in the lab? overall, it’s good and I am happy with my purchase. I would recommend, now with the latest version upgrade.

Found helpful by 53 out of 57 people
Version 1.0.6
Review by hands2002

DOES NOT WORK IN OS X El Capitan 10.11.32 - Have to restart El Capitan everytime need to run this app. {Pretty disappointed after paying $20, Shame on developer..

Found helpful by 3 out of 3 people
Version 1.0.6
Review by Brian Reiter

No longer works with Yosemite - This app is great except that it stopped working on all computers that I have upgraded to Yosemite. I filed a support request with the developer weeks ago but have not received any response at all. The Elements should be marked for sale for 10.7-10.9 and not compatible with 10.10. # Update # On my older 2011 13” MacBook Pro hardware the app runs with no issues in Yosemite. I have also discovered a workaround on the MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro to make it functional. - Launch The and get a black screen - Use the Elements menu to select an element. - The element will render and you can get back to the periodic table home screen by clicking the home button. Once you load the first element via the menus, the app works normally. It seems pretty clear that there is something minor going wrong here. If Touch Press would issue a patch to fix the issue on new Macs then the app is definitely 5 stars for the conten. If it doesn’t work correctly on your hardware it will make you sad unless and until you figure out the incantation to workaround the intial view loading as a black screen.

Found helpful by 3 out of 3 people
Version 1.0.6
Review by RokaTheOgre

The Elements - I am a 2014 Mac Book Pro owner who sees only a black screen when she tries to open this program. Big disappointment.

Found helpful by 2 out of 3 people