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Bubble blower.

Toy inventor Tim Kehoe took 11 years to create the world's first colored bubbles. Why did "Zubbles" take so long to invent?

Kehoe had to search for a dye that would bond with the molecules, or two or more atoms joined together, that make up a bubble. Most dyes didn't attach to the molecules. So instead of coating the bubble in a vibrant hue, the dye just pooled in an inky puddle at the bottom of a clear bubble. After thousands of tries, Kehoe finally found a molecule-bonding dye. But it wasn't perfect: "If the bubble landed on your skin or clothes it would stain for weeks," says Kehoe.

So Kehoe hired a chemist to create an easy-to-clean dye. The resulting dye disappears when you rub it or add water to it. Wiping the bubble liquid with a hand or wet mop causes the atoms in each dye molecule to rearrange--turning the brightly hued liquid into a colorless solution.

Learn more about Zubbles at this Web site: "Building a Better Bubble," by Mike Haney, Popular Science, December 2005.

To get more information on bubbles, including a recipe for homemade bubbles, check out:
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Title Annotation:PHYSICAL/MATTER; colored bubbles
Author:Crane, Cody
Publication:Science World
Date:Mar 27, 2006
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