Theodore Gray was educated at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School. He would later graduate with a B.S. in chemistry from University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1986.Template:Self-published inline
In 1987, Gray left a PhD program in theoretical chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley to work with Stephen Wolfram. In that same year, he co-founded Wolfram Research. His initial work for the company involved creating the user interface for Mathematica. Gray would eventually leave Wolfram Research to become a writer and publisher full-time.
After amassing thousands of samples of elements, he assembled them into a four-legged physical table representing the periodic table. The finished table was awarded the 2011 ACS Grady Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public, as well as the 2002 Ig Nobel Award for Chemistry. Gray's love of the periodic table would lead him to team up with photographer Nick Mann in creating The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe and Elements Vault.
For many years, Gray wrote a regular column for Popular Science entitled "Gray Matter." The column was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for Best Column in 2010. In 2009, a collection of articles by Gray was published under the title Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home—But Probably Shouldn't. A sequel to the book, Mad Science 2: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But STILL Probably Shouldn't was published in 2013.
In 2010, Gray founded Touch Press together with Max Whitby, John Cromie and Stephen Wolfram shortly after the announcement of the launch of the iPad. The company was created to develop innovative educational apps using the technology of the iPad to its full potential. The first published app was "The Elements," and in 2014 Gray released "Molecules", which allows users to touch and discover the basic building blocks of the world. Of Touch Press's "Disney Animated," which was named the best iPad app of 2013 worldwide by Apple, iTunes's App Editor noted, "We’re absolutely spellbound."
He has also developed a range of acrylic "Mechanical Gifs" to show "how common and uncommon machines, mechanisms, gadgets, and devices work."
- Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2017, 240pp. Template:ISBN
- Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2014, 240pp. Template:ISBN
- Theodore Gray's Elements Vault: Treasures of the Periodic Table with Removable Archival Documents and Real Element Samples—Including Pure Gold! Black Dog & Leventhal, 2011, 128pp. Template:ISBN
- (with photographer Nick Mann) The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2009, 240pp. Template:ISBN
- Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home—But Probably Shouldn't, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2009, 240pp. Template:ISBN
- (with Jerry Glynn) The Beginner's Guide to Mathematica Version 3, Cambridge University Press, 1997, 355pp. lSBN 0521622026
- Theo Gray's Mad Science 2: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But STILL Probably Shouldn't, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2013, 240pp. Template:ISBN
- Personal website
- Mechanical Gifs official website
- Amazon author page
- Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
- "Theodore Gray: Element enthusiast talks about making a periodic table for the 21st century" by Bethany Halford. C&EN, 26 November 2007, page 50.
- Periodic Table display makes the elements more than elemental by Greg Kline, The News-Gazette, November 27, 2003.
- Science Friday interview with Theodore Gray, July 2002.
- Steve Jobs's Apple Keynote Speech, Theodore Gray appearance, 2005.