Constructal theory of generation of configuration in nature and engineering

Journal Article (Review;Journal)

Constructal theory is the view that the generation of flow configuration is a physics phenomenon that can be based on a physics principle (the constructal law): "For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to survive) its configuration must evolve in such a way that it provides an easier access to the currents that flow through it" [A. Bejan, Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, 2nd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1997); Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 40, 799 (1997)]. This principle predicts natural configuration across the board: river basins, turbulence, animal design (allometry, vascularization, locomotion), cracks in solids, dendritic solidification, Earth climate, droplet impact configuration, etc. The same principle yields new designs for electronics, fuel cells, and tree networks for transport of people, goods, and information. This review describes a paradigm that is universally applicable in natural sciences, engineering and social sciences. © 2006 American Institute of Physics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bejan, A; Lorente, S

Published Date

  • September 11, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100 / 4

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8979

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1063/1.2221896

Citation Source

  • Scopus