What do bombs crafted by Pathfinder's Alchemists actually look like? I was trying to figure this out for a magic item I wanted to create, something that'd be involved in the bombs' creation - e.g. a mixing bowl for bombs, or a beaker to contain them - but I couldn't figure out what they're actually made of, so I didn't know what kind of item might work...
From Paizo's PRD:
Bomb (Su): In addition to magical extracts, alchemists are adept at swiftly mixing various volatile chemicals and infusing them with their magical reserves to create powerful bombs that they can hurl at their enemies. An alchemist can use a number of bombs each day equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. Bombs are unstable, and if not used in the round they are created, they degrade and become inert—their method of creation prevents large volumes of explosive material from being created and stored. In order to create a bomb, the alchemist must use a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst—the alchemist can create this liquid catalyst from small amounts of chemicals from an alchemy lab, and these supplies can be readily refilled in the same manner as a spellcaster's component pouch. Most alchemists create a number of catalyst vials at the start of the day equal to the total number of bombs they can create in that day—once created, a catalyst vial remains usable by the alchemist for years.
There's a vial involved, but it sounds like the actual bomb is "a mixture of volatile chemicals," which has got to be in something, I think. But I'm not clear on what it might be in. (Does the Alchemist go on adventures with a pack full of fragile glass beakers?) The entire process isn't really clear to me.
Here's the iconic Alchemist image; he's got lots of vials about his person, but I assume those are extracts and catalyst vials, not the bombs themselves:
Obviously this can be house-ruled, but I'd like to know if there's a canonical answer.