Home > Science & Links

The Zero Toys Science

The Zero Launcher and the Zero Blaster launch 2 to 6 inch diameter non-toxic fog rings that sail up to fourteen feet. Easy to use, they are great stress busters and with practice you'll be able to create bigger and better rings.

The Zero Launcher and Zero Blaster use the same liquid that Hollywood uses in the movies to make special effects fog. Like a snowflake, each fog ring is unique, expanding at its own rate and traveling at its own speed. You'll be captivated by their beauty, mesmerized by the myriad shapes you'll discover in every fog ring you create. The Zero Launcher and Zero Blaster will provide hours of good clean fun for children and adults alike.

A lot of how the Zero Blaster or Zero Launcher works has to do with your handling of it. There is an element of finesse you are going to gain as you improve and pit your skill against yourself and against others. The Launcher and Blaster also provide a fascinating insight into the principles of physics. The fog ring is a rotating toroidal (donut shaped) vortex (whirling motion of liquid or air with a low pressure area in the center).

The Zero Launcher and Zero Blaster are available in translucent blue, red, purple and silver. Each toy comes with three ounces of Super Zero Fluid (cherry scent), enough for more than 25,000 fog rings.

The Zero Launcher and Zero Blaster have an elastic diaphragm that pushes a burst of air through a small opening. You can launch fog rings holding the launcher still, but the rings will be smaller and travel a shorter distance. To create the largest fog rings, that will travel up to fourteen feet, follow the directions in the diagram below.

1. Begin smooth forward motion

2. Fire Blaster or Launcher almost at end of the smooth forward push
3. Slow the forward push after the fog ring is fired but continue forward motion for an inch or two.

Notice how the varying forward speed of the Launcher changes the size of the fog rings. With a little practice, 6 inch fog rings are easily produced. Fog rings made in this way can travel up to 14 feet.


The fog rings created by the Zero Blaster and Zero Launcher may look like smoke rings but they are very different. The Launcher and Blaster create a "fog", a relatively cool cloud that quickly disappears at room temperature, leaving no trace behind.


There are other toroidal vortices in our world, but most of the time you can't see them. Toroidal vortices can be made from simple air or water. They require only two things to exist: energy (applied in exactly the right manner) and a medium (air, water - or special effects fog solution). Many machines create their own toroidal vortex. They can occur around the wings of an airplane or in the wake of a boat; inside a centrifugal pump or in rocket blast.

Douglas Leigh, known as "the man who lit up Broadway", used steam to create five foot diameter "smoke rings" for the legendary Camel signs. You can learn more about him from the link on our links page.


Toroidal vortices also occur in nature - Whirlpools, tornadoes, and hurricanes are all toroidal vortices. There may even be a galaxy in the shape of a toroidal vortex. The most impressive maker of toroidal vortices on earth are volcanoes. They can produce huge and very visible smoke and fog rings which rise hundreds of feet into the air and last as long as ten minutes. Scientists are still trying to understand the way a volcano produces these rings. Who knows, you might be the one who figures it out. Check out our links page!

The sun also produces Toroidal vortices. Solar flairs can send gigantic rings into space, but they aren't the largest rings. That record goes to a star which exploded, creating a toroidal vortex a billion miles across!

But the most fun example of a toroidal vortex is made by dolphins. Dolphins are sea-bound mammals and so breath air, but they spend a lot of time under water and have learned to hold their breath for a very long time. They have also learned to blow air ring bubbles, and to play with them. In fact, this is one of their favorite games. These bubbles normally float quickly to the surface. Dolphins never tire of watching bubble rings, but they also enjoy chasing and catching the rings they create. Kind of like how we play with soap bubbles. The clever dolphins also use their flukes and flippers to fan the bubble rings to keep them from rising. This gives them more time to play with their creation. They can even change the shape of the bubble rings they create. If you want to learn more about this fascinating subject, there is a group called Earthtrust who studies dolphins. Earthtrust has been studying how dolphins seem to understand what they are creating and do it on purpose. Watching dolphins play with air rings is one of the ways people discovered what intelligent creatures they really are.