100 years after the first observation of ripening by Ostwald and 40 years after the first publication of a theory describing this process, this monograph presents, in a self-consistent and comprehensive manner, all the bits and pieces of coarsening theories so that the main issues and the underlying mathematics of self-similar coarsening of dispersed systems can be understood. It contains all of the background material necessary to understand growth and coarsening of spherical particles or droplets in a liquid or solid matrix. Some basic knowledge of heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics and differential equations would be helpful, but not necessary, as all the concepts required are introduced. The text is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as for researchers. Rather than giving a complete survey of the field, it presents a careful derivation of the existing results and places them into some perspective.