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Unifying the animate and the inanimate designs of nature
Date:4/28/2009

uld be seen as weight-lifters, since their means of locomotion required effort with an unyielding base the ground and a limitless top the air. He argued that as fish swim, they too have an unyielding floor the sea bed. Hence, water flowed over and around them like the air over runners and flyers.

So, fish too were weight-lifters, and these forms of locomotion are predicted by the constructal law, Bejan said.

"Our discovery that animal locomotion adheres to the constructal law tells us that even though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on Earth, or it happened on another planet with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again," Marden said.

In numerous papers over past decade, Bejan has demonstrated that the constructal law predicts the design of a wide range of flow systems seen in nature, from biology and geophysics to social dynamics and technology evolution.

"When thinking of evolution and Darwin, most people think of animals or trees," Bejan said. "That's too bad, because design features are everywhere in nature. The constructal law can be seen as a universal principle of evolution, which applies in many fields, from physics to economics."

He describes the law as an animated movie, where one screen is replaced by another screen on which the currents flow with greater ease. He sees the constructal law (www.constructal.org) as the time direction of the movie, flow configurations (designs, drawings) that flow more easily."

"The constructal law can be seen to cover 'natural design' phenomena across the board," Bejan said, "as a compact summary of common observations, the tape of evolution running in one direction, which may be expressed in physics terms simply as: time and configuration."


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Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert  

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