Maxwell’s Demons Everywhere: Evolving Design as the Arrow of Time

Closed system in steady state, with heat flow in and out. (a) Without flow organization (design); (b) With flow organization;

Science holds that the arrow of time in nature is imprinted on one-way (irreversible) phenomena, and is accounted for by the second law of thermodynamics. In this article from Nature Scientific Report, Prof. Bejan show that the arrow of time is painted much more visibly on another self-standing phenomenon: the occurrence and change (evolution in time) of flow organization throughout nature, animate and inanimate. This other time arrow has been present in science but not recognized as such since the birth of thermodynamics.

It is Maxwell’s demon.

Translated in macroscopic terms, this is the physics of the phenomenon of design, which is the universal natural tendency of flow systems to evolve into configurations that provide progressively greater access over time, and is summarized as the constructal law of design and evolution in nature. Knowledge is the ability to effect design changes that facilitate human flows on the landscape. Knowledge too flows.

The Constructal evolution of sports with throwing motion: baseball, golf, hockey and boxing

The most frequent throwing lanes in the infi eld

The most frequent throwing lanes in the infield

The Constructal evolution of sports with throwing motion: baseball, golf, hockey and boxing.

A. Bejan et al., Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics. Vol. 8 (2013) 1-16.

The authors “show that the trends in four sports are united by the evolutionary constructal design of all animal locomotion. The trend is toward greater effi ciency in the falling-forward movement of the body, and this is why the evolution of the throwing motion unites team sports (baseball, hockey) with individual sports (golf, boxing, running and swimming). Records during the past 100 years indicate that in these sports the trend has been toward bigger and taller bodies, which possess greater speed of falling forward and throwing, greater force, and greater throwing distance. Equipment technology (golf balls, hockey sticks) has evolved in the same direction.

In sum, the evolution of sports is in accord with the constructal law, and constitutes a “laboratory” for witnessing the evolution of biological design in our lifetime.” (Abstract)