The constructal law and the evolution of design in nature.
Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., Review
The constructal law accounts for the universal phenomenon of generation and evolution of design (configuration, shape, structure, pattern, rhythm). This phenomenon is observed across the board, in animate, inanimate and human systems. The constructal law states the time direction of the evolutionary design phenomenon. It defines the concept of design evolution in physics. Along with the first and second law, the constructal law elevates thermodynamics to a science of systems with configuration. In this article we review the more recent work of our group, with emphasis on the advances made with the constructal law in the natural sciences. Highlighted are the oneness of animate and inanimate designs, the origin of finite-size organs on animals and vehicles, the flow of stresses as the generator of design in solid structures (skeletons, vegetation), the universality and rigidity of hierarchy in all flow systems, and the global design of human flows. Noteworthy is the tapestry of distributed energy systems, which balances nodes of production with networks of distribution on the landscape, and serves as key to energy sustainability and empowerment. At the global level, the constructal law accounts for the geography and design of human movement, wealth and communications.
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