Argonne National Laboratory
updated 8/24/2011 8:07:43 AM ET 2011-08-24T12:07:43

As a science major, you often get flooded with terms, concepts, equations and formulas to understand and memorize. No tool other than your own brain can ultimately do the job for you, but there exist a number of tools that can help you along the way. In this age of tablets and smartphones, an ever-increasing number of apps relevant to your needs can turn your device into a repository of resources that you can access anytime and anywhere you want to.

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RealCalc Scientific Calculator
Price: Free
Download: RealCalc Scientific Calculator for Android

No need to panic anymore if you left your calculator at home — RealCalc has all the features of a dedicated scientific calculator. The interface looks like one, too. This calculator app handles trigonometry functions, unit conversion and other advanced calculations, and it can store past computation results for reference later on.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration
Price: $13.99
Download: The Elements for iPad, iPhone 4

Several periodic table of elements apps are sold through both the Apple App Store and Android Market. But The Elements app stands out for doing away with the conventional periodic table and presenting it as an interactive learning tool instead. You can find comprehensive information on each and every element, including video representations and a total of 500 rotatable 3-D representations. Some reviewers in the App Store complained that the app sometimes crashes, but a recent update promises more stability.

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Price: $1.99
Download: iScience for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Need help familiarizing yourself with math, physics and chemistry formulas? iScience has 2,500 formulas you can tap into while you're still in the process of memorizing the specific ones you need. It comes with a periodic table of elements that you can sort based on name or element properties. One of the app's most useful functions is the capacity to assign three different priority levels to every formula, so you can group them and quickly find the ones you need. The app's Share function exports the formulas you choose into a PDF file you can print.

Price: Free
Download: Molecules for iPhone and iPad

This app shows you molecular structures in 3-D so you can understand them better. You can rotate the molecules, zoom in and out as you wish, or even change views between ball-and-stick and space-filling configuration models. In-depth info about the structures, such as the scientists who've performed extensive research on them, is included. The app is preloaded with only a handful of molecular structures, but you can easily download more from the RCSB Protein Data Bank.

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Star Walk
Price: $4.99
Download: Star Walk for iPad

Star Walk turns your iPad into an instant astronomy guide. Just point it at the sky, and it will tell you the names of the stars, constellations, and even the satellites within the area of sky framed within your iPad's screen. Through a feature called augmented stargazing, it can visualize the shape a constellation takes. And if you want to look for a particular heavenly body, the app can tell you where to point your device.

Biochemistry Lab Suite
Price: Free
Download: Biochemistry Lab Suite for Android

Designed to help with lab work, the Biochemistry Lab Suite Android app can handle the calculations you need when you're making solutions and buffers. The app is especially useful for students studying mass spectrometry-based proteomics, metabolomics, biochemistry, biology and chemistry in a laboratory setting. It also has built-in periodic table of elements that contain information relevant to biochemistry that you might need in the lab.

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Price: $14.99
Download: Papers for iPhone and iPad

Papers was originally an application for Mac computers. Papers is very useful when it comes to organizing scientific journals, and we're sure you'll have a pretty large collection of those before you graduate. You can sync the iPhone or iPad app with the desktop application if you want, but the mobile app versions work as independent programs.

If you choose not to sync and download files from your desktop or laptop, you can use the several search engines available within the app. These search engines connect to different journal archives from which you can download files straight on your mobile device. The latest version of the app even lets you annotate and highlight text within PDF files.

Blausen Human Atlas HD
Price: $29.99
Download: Blausen Human Atlas HD for iPad

The Blausen Human Atlas HD app provides you with rotatable human figures (covering all nine systems of the body), so you can familiarize yourself with the human anatomy. But its main attraction is the 150 3-D animations of different medical conditions. It also contains 1,200 still images, as well as a search-enabled medical glossary. Contents are interlinked so you can find things easily, even if you're just starting out learning human anatomy.

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