x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

The scientist forever blowing bubbles

Tom Noddy demonstrated bubble tricks to an audience of children and adults at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival yesterday.

Tom Noddy creates a
Tom Noddy creates a "bubble jewel" during his show at Adnec.

ABU DHABI // Tom Noddy is no ordinary man. He has been working in the "bubble industry" for the past 40 years, and this week he showed Abu Dhabi what it was all about.

From smoke bubbles inside clear bubbles to inside-out bubbles and bubble cubes, there was seemingly nothing Mr Noddy could not do.

His 35-minute demonstration was one of many at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival yesterday.

Mr Noddy, 62, needed only his two bubble wands and a smoke machine. He started by showing the 30 children and adults in the audience how to make a caterpillar by blowing six bubbles stuck to one another. To the audience's delight, he made the caterpillar bellydance by moving it from side to side.

"The bubbles are thinner than wavelengths of light," Mr Noddy explained. While teaching the audience the science behind his show, he made a "love bubble" by merging two bubbles into one.

"I'm going to show you the galaxy of bubbles now," Mr Noddy said as he took a larger ring and dipped it in a bowl of soap. And in one whisk, dozens of tiny bubbles floated inside a gigantic one - much like planets in a galaxy.

One of his most popular tricks, however, was the bubble cube.

After blowing four attached bubbles, Mr Noddy placed another one in the middle and blew smoke inside of it, creating a cube.

Other shapes followed including a tetrahedron, with four triangular sides, and a dodecahedron, with twelve faces. "I call this my bubble jewel," he said.

"I enjoy the beauty of the bubble, they're fluid and yet they have these geometric shapes so they do surprising things - two spheres become a single sphere - it's what bubbles do," he said.

The festival is taking place at the National Exhibition Centre and on the Corniche until Saturday.

cmalek@thenational.ae