Droplets That ‘Come to Life’

 

As bored children buckled in backseats, we grow familiar with the way raindrops on glass slide together and coalesce. At pasta-cooking age, we learn that oil droplets in water also glom together, forming bigger droplets until they all become a single globule in the middle of the pot. Intuition tells us that droplets like to combine, even if we don’t know why. (They do it to minimize surface area, since their constituent molecules prefer one another’s chemical company to the surrounding fluid’s.)

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