Smartphones are perfect for science geeks. This small piece of technology that fits in your back pocket can help professionals and interested amateurs understand the world in a more profound way. The right apps can help you explore your backyard, your daily life, the environment, nature, and even the farthest reaches of outer space. Here’s some information about six science apps will fascinate you. If they grab your interest, download them today and put them to use.

BioBlox

Protein docking, where molecules need to be oriented in a certain way to bind onto other proteins, isn’t always easy to facilitate. Problems with protein bonding make weak connections between molecules that can cause medical complications or other unexpected reactions. The right connection makes a lasting bond that strengthens and supports the proper function in an organism.

Developed by two scientists at a London University, BioBlox helps users understand protein docking can play out. It makes it fun to understand biomolecules in detail, as it is set up a bit like Tetris where molecules need to be oriented in the best way to be able to fit into one another. Once the game gets going, it becomes fascinating to create the perfect match between a ligand and its perfect receptor. For even more fun, a 3D version can also be downloaded.

Download for free through iOs and GooglePlay.

The Elements

You may have seen a traditional periodic table in a book or on your classroom wall. Typically they’re two-dimensional and boring with row after row of squares filled by scientific abbreviations. It’s a useful reference but doesn’t really do justice to the construction of each element, their physical appearance, how they present themselves in nature, and the story behind their discovery.

The Elements is the periodic table 2.0. It will engage you in the contents of a periodic table in ways you wouldn’t expect, displaying each element in its physical form and allowing you to zoom into the object and rotate it in multiple dimensions. It will tell you quick facts about each element as well as display more in-depth information such as how the element was discovered and its properties. For kicks, it will even inform you of the up-to-date market price required if someone needed to purchase it. It is perfect for students, classrooms, and any material science nerd that loves having detailed information at their fingertips instead of on their wall.

Download for $9 through iOs.

NASA

NASA offers a range of smartphone apps for space nerds that showcase its technology, its programs, and cutting-edge information about space exploration. Interested astronomers and space travel fans may want to start with the basic NASA app first. It includes the information that you’d expect to see from the agency: beautiful photos, engaging videos, information on current missions, and the latest agency news.

The app also provides in-depth features you might not expect, such as the ability to track the location of the international space station and other orbiting satellites. It also happens to have its own radio station, an alternative rock station called Third Rock Radio.

Once you download the app all of this is surprisingly easy to access at any time. It’s fun to pull it out in conversation with friends if there’s a rocket launch you’d like to watch from anywhere you happen to be at, music you want to hear, or just for research or entertainment.

Download for free through iOs or GooglePlay.

NASA 3DV

Those looking for more in-depth information about NASA’s push to land on asteroids, explore Mars, and travel into other parts of the solar system may want to download the agency’s deep space exploration app called NASA 3DV. The app’s name is short for 3D view and it will give users an up-close, real-life view of the Orion Spacecraft and Space Launch System rockets used to send astronauts beyond our planet. It also will have views of the crawler transporter that has been historically used to take ships to the launch pad and will be employed in the same function for Orion.

Download for free through iOs or Android.

acceleratAR

Smartphones can do a lot of things, but some functions exceed our wildest imaginations. The acceleratAR app, developed by the UK-based Cockcroft Institute, is one of them. It can help you build a virtual particle accelerator. Let that sink in for a minute.  How is this possible? The app uses your cell phone camera and some paper cubes (which you can download from the acceleratAR site) to help users experiment with the ways that charged particles move through electromagnetic fields. Users can do this anywhere with access to a tabletop. That includes their home, a classroom or even a coffee shop.

A free download is coming soon through Android.

MyShake

This research and reporting app allows you to be part of the effort that helps collect seismic data to better understand and prevent earthquakes. It uses your phone’s sensors to unobtrusively gather information for the University of California – Berkley’s Seismological Laboratory. It is set up to work in the background so that none of your phone’s other activities are affected while it is running. MyShake collects information from a worldwide audience of users, but it provides information too. Its a treasure trove of facts for anyone who is interested in details about seismic movements. Use it to find out about activity in other parts of the world or about the best thing to do if you happen to be in an earthquake-affected area.

Download for free through Android.