6 iPhone Apps for Rocket Scientists and Other Brainy Types


You know how when something is easy, people will say, “Well, it’s not exactly rocket science”? This time, we are literally talking about rocket science. This stuff is tricky, so hard-working rocket scientists need all the help they can get. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best iOS apps to help along the scientific-research minded, whether you have to calculate escape velocities or just finish up that pesky dissertation. Best of all, these apps will also appeal to science novices, amateurs, and students of every level. 

Papers (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: mekentosj.com
Price: $14.99 Download on the App Store

This first app on the list might be the most downright useful of the bunch. In the movies, doing science consists of wearing a lab coat and occasionally blowing something up. In real life, science mostly consists in keeping up with the research and peer-reviewing articles. Papers is perfect for that. Here’s an app that will organize your entire library of scientific papers into a searchable database that you can take anywhere. You can also use Papers to annotate documents and take notes. It’s a rocket scientist’s best friend.

Science Mobile (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Science Mobile
Developer: American Association for the Advancement of Scienc
Price: free Download on the App Store

The American Association of the Advancement of Science works hard to emphasize the relevance of science in our daily lives. That’s why they’ve created Science Mobile, an app that is equal parts entertaining and practical. Science Mobile lets you read abstracts and summaries of the latest research, check out headlines at ScienceNOW, and track down science-related podcasts and videos. If you’re a real, live scientist there are even more features to love, such as a great tool to search for job openings in science careers.

WolframAlpha (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Wolfram Group LLC
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store

If there were an App Store high school yearbook, WolframAlpha would be the app voted most likely to become sentient. More than a mere search engine, WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine. Enter questions in everyday language, and this app will attempt to answer them by analyzing the phrasing and cross referencing the results with a database of facts. It can solve complex math problems, compare entire sets of data, and even tell you the nutritional value of what you’re eating. Even if you’re not a scientist, WolframAlpha will likely become one of your favorite apps.

Atomium Pro: Periodic Table (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Atomium Pro: Periodic Table
Developer: Henri Hansen
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store

There are lots of pretty periodic table of elements apps for iOS, but most of them are just that: pretty. Atomium Pro is a seriously impressive periodic table, designed especially for professional scientists. Beyond just returning the standard atomic weight, Atomium will also deliver a wide range of properties for each element, including safety instructions, atomic size, optical properties, electronegativity, and more. Atomium Pro doesn’t even require an internet connection. And, on top of all that, it still manages to look pretty.

iFormulas (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Brendan Winter
Price: free Download on the App Store

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but scientists have to do a lot of math — hard, jaw-grindingly tedious math. There is help, however. iFormulas for iOS is a clean, well-organized reference guide to hundreds of mathematical formulae, along with definitions, laws, properties, and more. This app even has its own section for physics. It’s free and updated continuously, so there’s there’s no reason for any student or scientist to go without.

TED Mobile (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
TED Mobile
Developer: .willflow limited
Price: free Download on the App Store

Even the most hard-nosed scientists are occasionally allowed to take off their coke-bottle glasses, set down their clipboards, and enjoy themselves for a few minutes. And what better way to do that than with lectures about science? The Technology Entertainment and Design Conference, also known as TED, isn’t all about dry scientific research, however. These talks cover every conceivable tech-related subject, from music to video games to artificial intelligence. What they all have in common is that they’re fun and interesting, and you can watch them all with TED Mobile for iOS.

Did we forget your favorite rocket science app? Do you know any good jokes about the Large Hadron Collider? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Marco

    For Rocket Science, Math Minion is recommendable. Users can contribute examples, which other users can download from inside the app. I contributed the full numerical solution for 5 planets circling a sun, because I was fascinated with the speculations of the origin of our asteroid belt. The examples name was Amaggedon, but the developer kindly reduced the complexity to 2 planets, so it runs nicely on older iPhones and iPads. You should not have any problem to midify it in order to make your own Mars expedition.

  • Timeline

    I would reccomend this Timeline Eons app, a graphic representation of the entire natural and human history:


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  • james

    What about Triple Entendre? difficult puzzle trivia app. Really difficult. I don't think anybody has completed all the puzzles yet.