NOVA Elements App

  • By Adam Talaid
  • Posted 04.12.12
  • NOVA

If you ever thought the periodic table was a boring collection of elements that has nothing to do with your life, this app will show you otherwise. "NOVA Elements" lets you explore an interactive periodic table, build the elements, play a game hosted by technology columnist David Pogue, or watch the two-hour NOVA program, "Hunting the Elements." Find out why the periodic table is shaped the way it is, what gives each element its own unique set of properties, and even how elements combine to make everyday objects such as a cup of coffee.

Running Time: 04:33

Download the free NOVA Elements App from iTunes or the Windows store or check out the web edition of NOVA Elements.



Posted: April 5, 2012

Introducing NOVA Elements for the iPad

Let's start by watching a sneak preview of NOVA's "Hunting the Elements."

NARRATOR: What are things made of?

DAVID POGUE: So all life-- us, Justin Beiber, everything made of carbon chains.

NARRATOR: It all comes down…to elements.

DAVID POGUE: And this must be hydrogen.

NARRATOR: What are they? Why do they behave the way they do?

DAVID POGUE: Tastes like salt.

NARRATOR: New York Times tech guru David Pogue gives an off-the-charts tour of the periodic table.

DAVID POGUE: My gloves are on fire. I'm seeing atoms.

NARRATOR: Hunting the Elements coming soon on NOVA

DAVID POGUE: Yes, the elements are fascinating. Yes, they are all around you. Yes, we've put together an amazing two-hour special about the elements for NOVA. But so far you are just sitting back passively and watching. Wouldn't you much prefer to drive, wouldn't you like to lean forward reach out your finger and control the experience? That's why we've created the NOVA Elements Ipad app. Download today, won't you?

DAVID POGUE: Welcome to NOVA Elements. I'm David Pogue. I review technology for a living so I'm fascinated by the elements that make up cool stuff. As you can see, there's lots to do here. You can watch our show, "Hunting the Elements," you can explore the tappable interactive periodic table, or you can play my Essential Elements game. Tap whatever looks interesting to get started.

DAVID POGUE: Ever want to learn more about tungsten or anything at all about Einsteinium? Now is your chance. Tap any element to learn more about it.

DAVID POGUE: This is the atomic sand box. Add protons, neutrons and electrons to build a stable atom. The number of protons are the atomic number. It determines the element you have. To determine the number of neutrons an atom should have, subtract its number of protons from its atomic weight. Stable atoms typically have a balance number of protons and electrons. Nice work!

DAVID POGUE: Well done!

DAVID POGUE: A perfectly built atom.

DAVID POGUE: Welcome to the exciting new game "The Essential Elements." Your challenge should you decide to accept it, is to build some of the things I use everyday. And by build I mean assemble them from their component elements and molecules. Tap any object to begin.

DAVID POGUE: This is the molecular sand box where you can use atoms to build molecules. But first you have to build the component atoms. Nice job!

DAVID POGUE: Watch "Hunting the Elements," right here, anytime anywhere.



Produced by
Adam Talaid
Original Footage
©WGBH Educational Foundation


Evan-Amos/Public Domain
(David Pogue)
©WGBH Educational Foundation

Related Links

  • Hunting the Elements

    A two-hour special from the producers of "Making Stuff"

  • It's Elemental

    In this interactive periodic table, explore the elements and their properties and abundances.

  • An Elemental Quiz

    Test your knowledge of chemistry basics and trivia.