Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organizations
Adrian Bejan, J. Peder Zane
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the constructal law, accounts for the evolution of these and many other designs in our world.
Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical “flowcharts” or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies. All are governed by the same principle, known as the constructal law, and configure and reconfigure themselves over time to flow more efficiently. Written in an easy style that achieves clarity without sacrificing complexity, Design in Nature is a paradigm-shifting book that will fundamentally transform our understanding of the world around us.
2007. “Tree Flow Networks in Urban Design.” In Bejan and Merkx, pp. 51–70. Lorente, Sylvie, and Adrian Bejan. 2010. “Few Large and Many Small: Hierarchy in Movement on Earth.” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics 5 (3): 254–67. Lorenzini, Giulio, and Luiz Alberto Oliveira Rocha. 2006. “Constructal Design of Y-Shaped Assembly of Fins.” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 49: 4552–57. Manton, Kenneth G., Kenneth C. Land, and Eric Stallard. 2007. “Human Aging and
design is still a good way to flow, it persists in time. This is one reason why simple forms persist even as more complex ones evolve, why microbes and fruit flies live among dolphins and elephants, why people (myself included) still use pencils in an age of computers. The natural emergence of the wheel design can be predicted by using the constructal law in two ways. First, consider the evolution of the wheels made by humans (Figure 31). In the beginning, the wheel was a solid disk. The wheel
existing structure with one that flows better. This is what the constructal law predicts for the evolution of science. This view underscores another seminal aspect of hierarchy: the interconnectedness and interdependence of every component of the flow system. In the bigger picture, the river basin uses its rivulets, streams, and main channels to move water from the plain to the river mouth just as surely as our respiratory system uses tiny alveoli, bronchial tubes, and the trachea to bathe our
the flows and moving parts of an engine morph in time so that they move more easily, the engine design evolves in the direction of producing more and more work (W) from the fixed heat input (QH). This is the direction of improvements in efficiencies—animal designs that are better fit for moving more animal mass on Earth and geophysical currents that move more water and air mass through hierarchical, vascular designs (Figure 58). The constructal evolution of these engines is amply documented in
International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 242–253; Raja, V. A. P., Basak, T., and Das, S. K., 2008, Thermal performance of a multi-block heat exchanger designed on the basis of Bejan’s constructal theory, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 51, pp. 3582–3594; Reis, A. H., and Gama, C., 2010, Sand size versus beachface slope—An explanation based on the Constructal Law, Geomorphology, vol. 114, p. 276; Rocha, L. A. O., Lorenzini, E., and Biserni,