A quick intro to Phase Separation

Ink and water mix but oil and water don’t. We all know this. But why? Mixing and demixing are relevant processes for many different systems: from the air, you breathe to metallic alloys on your car wheels, and to the smoothie on your breakfast. Recent research shows that these processes also take place inside cells! Biomolecules can be mixed with the liquid interior of the cell. Sometimes these molecules demix and form droplets like oil in water. A mechanism to assemble these droplets is assembled through a process called Phase Separation. This video is a short introduction to the physics of Phase Separation.

Prepared by Mariona Esquerda Ciutat from the Hyman and Jülicher labs in Dresden.