I will give an overview of the rather poorly understood hydrophobic interaction. This so-called ''force'' has been observed to have an attractive influence over hundreds of nanometres and is thought to be the main reason droplets of oil coalesce rather than form stable emulsions. By discussing oil-in-water and air-in-water examples, I will illustrate some implications for scuba diving, the evolution of life and personal hygiene products.
This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..