The constructal law and the design of the Biosphere: Nature and globalization

Journal Article

"Design in nature" is a topic of growing interest throughout science. The constructal law is the physics law of design generation and evolution in nature: "for a flow system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve such that it provides easier and easier access to its currents." In this paper, we show how the constructal law accounts for the main features of the design of the biosphere: global movement of mass as the action of constructal engines (geophysical, animal, and human made) that dissipate their power into brakes, animal locomotion, vision, cognition, and hierarchy. The architecture and hierarchy of vegetation results from the constructal tendency to generate designs that facilitate the flow of water and "the flow of stresses" (i.e., mechanical strength per unit volume). Natural porous media have multiple scales because their flows are also configured as trees. The paper concludes with the oneness of design in nature, global design, and science and technology evolution-all as manifestations of the natural tendency captured by the constructal law and unified constructal theory of evolution.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bejan, A; Lorente, S

Published Date

  • 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 1

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1481

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1115/1.4002223