Taken from Science Daily
"Chemical Coarsening: How the Big Get Bigger"
Patricia Thiel of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory put a box of tissues to the right, a stack of coasters to the middle and a trinket box to the left. "Nature," she said of her table-top illustration, "doesn't want lots of little things." So Thiel grabbed the smaller things and slid them into a single pile next to the bigger tissue box. "Nature wants one big thing all together, like this." It describes a process called coarsening. That's when "a group of objects of different sizes transforms into fewer objects with larger average size, such that 'the big get bigger,'" says the paper. Examples of the process include the geologic formation of gemstones, the degradation of pharmaceutical suspensions and the manufacture of structural steels. Thiel and Evans were invited to write the paper after Thiel delivered a talk at an American Chemical Society meeting about their studies of coarsening, an emerging field in surface chemistry.