Constructal Law: Optimization as Design Evolution

Constructal invasion of a conducting tree into a conducting body, Kobayashi, H., Lorente, S., Anderson, R., and Bejan, A., 2013, “Trees and Serpentines in a Conducting Body,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 56(1–2), pp. 488–494. This article from the Journal of Heat Transfer unveils the physics meaning of optimization, knowledge and design evolution, and why these concepts and human activities are profoundly useful for human life.

The design in nature phenomenon facilitates access for everything that flows, evolves, spreads, and is collected: river basins, atmospheric and ocean currents, animal life and migration, and technology (the evolution of the “human-and machine species,” wealth, life). This phenomenon is summarized by the constructal law: the occurrence and evolution of designs in nature, its time direction.

Notably, the constructal law accounts for contradictory end-design statements such as minimum entropy production and maximum entropy production, and minimum flow resistance and maximum flow resistance.

What is a classic book?


In this online article, Peder Zane, co-author of the book “Design in Nature“, discusses the origin of the concept of “classic books”, and how it emerges as a flow architecture.

The constructal law shows that lists of great or classic books are hierarchical designs that arise naturally to organize the swelling flow of literature.


Every snowflake is not unique

SnowflakeProfessor Bejan explain in this article from Mechanical Engineering, why every snowflake is not unique about its principle, the constructal law.

Every snowflake conforms to only one architecture: a flat star with six fishbones connected at the center.

What’s more, that structure is predictable provided that we recognize the underlying principle: first, that something flows, in this case heat, and, second, that the natural tendency of all flows is to evolve
into architectures that provide easier access.

It’s another example of the constructal law.






Evolution as Physics: A bird? A plane? It’s all physics

Airplanes evolutionThe paper, “The evolution of airplanes,”created a media stir earlier this year when it was published online by the Journal of Applied Physics. The authors contend that the  similarities seen across aircraft designs are a manifestation of the same law that drives the evolution of biological creatures and terrain features like river basins.

Lead author Adrian Bejanof Duke University describes the methodology behind the paper and the predictive value of the constructal law, the theory he developed 19 years ago to explain the “oneness” he sees in the evolution of living and non-living systems.