Seven Android Apps for Relativistic Astrophysics Lovers


Update:Since many people are asking, yes I am preparing a list
also for iOS systems. It will appear here as a separate post in
a few days.

After some resistance I finally got into the world of smartphones and I quickly clashed with the problem of finding interesting softw…ahem, apps among the immense zoo available. I prepared a selection of 7 interesting (free) apps for Android systems that are somehow related with the topics discussed in this blog or that might be useful to people interested in astronomy. I use 1 to 5 stars to rate the technical level required to use the app: 5 stars is for professional astronomers, 1 star is for kids.

1. Black Hole Calculator (★★★★★)app1

This app is a very nice calculator that allows you to determine the acceleration of a body around a Kerr-Newman black hole (i.e., the most general type of black hole) given the initial position and velocity. The app provides also a number of other useful quantities like the Christoffel symbols and the metric tensor.

2. BOINC (★★)boinc-app

With this app you can finally join the world of BOINC on your Android phone. BOINC is a platform that gives you access to the wonderful world of citizen science, where you can help scientists to make fundamental discoveries thanks to the (unused) computational power of your mobile phone. There are several projects you can join, among which Einstein@home to catch the first ever continuous gravitational waves (most likely coming from fast spinning neutron stars)!

3. Accretion Disk (★★)accretiondiskapp

A nice simple app that allows you to visualize an accretion disk around a non-rotating black hole (Schwarzschild black hole). The app allows you to adjust the disk inclination, distance, mass and various parameters to visualize.

4. ArXiv Mobile (★★★★)arxivmobile

If you want to be updated on the latest discoveries in the field of astronomy this is the app for you. ArXiv is the online archive where astronomers (but also physicists and mathematicians) post their most recent papers and conference contributions.

 5. Space Scoop (★)spacescoop

This app, created by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), provides astronomical news for kids aged 8+. It is a fantastic app for learning astronomy and engaging curious children. There are many topics discussed, including black holes, neutron stars and relativistic astrophysics. The app allows you to choose between many different languages.

 6. Verbosus (★★★)verbtex

With this app you will be able to edit your LaTex documents in a browser and share a project with your collaborators. It is indeed possible to edit the same shared document and generate a PDF version for display. Very useful to add the last corrections to your paper!

7. MERLOT OER (★★★)merlot

MERLOT is a great app to search for Open Educational Resources (OER). You can find a lot material related to astrophysics, free books, free online courses and much more. A great app not only if you are interested in astronomy.


5 thoughts on “Seven Android Apps for Relativistic Astrophysics Lovers

Add yours

    1. I haven’t looked with the same depth but my feeling is that there are less apps of this kind for iOS. I’ve heard for example that BOINC is not allowed on iOS (no idea why). I’m looking for alternatives anyway sice I have an ipad myself and will post updates if I find something interesting.

  1. Dear Alessandro, first of all, congratulations for your very nice website. I have recently download the very nice black hole calculator app for free. It calculates the acceleration of a body around at any stationary and symetric black hole by switching M, J and Q, respectively. I have a simple question, I know most PhDs are reluctant to waste their time answer this kind of questions, but for me, I have no choice. I calculated the (outter) schwarzchild metric, by setting J=0 and Q=0, and putting r=26561000 m for GPS satellite with respect to “center of the Earth” to estimate the 4 acceleration vector components of the satellite revolving the Earth’s spacetime, and this yields, the following: [-1.89 x 10^-10 0 0 -0.5652] m.s^-2. I want to know what does the time component value mean?, because the radial component value is g, the gravitional acceleration at that distance.

    Finally, Has been observed non stationary black holes? and what about the theories about their metric and existence, regarding the so called hawking radiation and the recovery of the energy.

  2. Are there any apps dealing with alcubierre or natario drives? If so I would be interested in using it. Especially if it is lay person friendly

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