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11th November 2020

Vince Craig - Hydrophobic attraction - the long and the short of it

In 1982 Jacob Israelachvili and Ric Pashley working through the night in an old weatherboard cottage on the edge of the ANU campus using an early incarnation of the surface forces apparatus made a surprising discovery. The forces measured between mica surfaces made hydrophobic by the adsorption of the surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) exhibited a previously unknown strongly attractive component that extended to distances not previously imagined[1].