An appetite for apps

With 15 million to choose from, smartphone users are spoilt for choice. Here’s our pick of the best physics apps, from the practical to the weird and wonderful.

If we’ve left out your favourite physics app, why not tell us?

LHSee

Here’s one for all you armchair particle physicists. Find out all about the ATLAS detector, have a go at spotting the Higgs, and best of all, download particle collisions live from CERN. You can then explore particle tracks inside ATLAS  in full 3D glory – even if (like us) you don’t really know what’s going on, you have to admit it looks pretty cool.

Available on Android. Free.

Launchball

The Science Museum’s infuriatingly addictive game has gone mobile. A variation on the classic ‘get the ball into the goal’ puzzle, Launchball requires you to play with fire, electricity and magnetism as you progress through its levels. You can even build your own fiendishly difficult levels or try out other players’ creations.

Available on iPhone. Cost: around £0.70.

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Google Sky Map

Stargazing is great, but it’s even better when you know what you’re looking at. Google Sky Map tells you just that – simply point your phone at the heavens and a map of the sky based on your location springs up, complete with stars, constellations planets and satellites. You could even point it at your feet to take a peek at what astronomers on the other side of the world can see.

Available on Android. Free.

(A similar app for iPhone and iPad users is Star Walk)

 

Solar System for iPad

Ever wanted to zoom in on Jupiter’s Great Red Spot or soar along a Martian canyon? This app provides a visually stunning tour of our solar system’s planets, moons and other celestial bodies. Packed with great stories, facts, beautiful imagery and plenty of other treats.

Available on iPad. Cost: around £9.99.
Solar System has also been released as a book, available on Amazon.

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Wolfram alpha

This app is an intelligent reference guide to just about everything. Use it to find facts and formulae, perform calculations, plot graphs, get info about space probes and much more. There’s a good pinch of humour in there too – just try asking for the meaning of life or why the chicken crossed the road.

Available on Android, iPhone and iPad. Cost: around £1.50.
Also available free as a website.

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