Design in Nature
How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
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In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.
Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical "flowcharts" or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies.
All are governed by the same principle, known as the Constructal Law, and configure and reconfigure themselves over time to flow more efficiently. Written in an easy style that achieves clarity without sacrificing complexity, Design in Nature is a paradigm-shifting book that will fundamentally transform our understanding of the world around us.
GEORGE TSATSARONIS is BEWAG Professor of Energy Conversion and Protection of the Environment at the Technical University of Berlin.
MICHAEL MORAN is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The Ohio State University. He is coauthor (with Howard N. Shapiro) of Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, now in its third edition and published by Wiley. He is also the author of Availability Analysis: A Guide to Efficient Energy Use.
J. Peder Zane was the book review editor and books columnist for the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, for thirteen years. His writing has won numerous national honors, including the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Before joining the News & Observer, Zane worked at the New York Times. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle and current chair of the department of journalism and mass communication at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, Zane is the editor of and has contributed to Remarkable Reads:34 Writers and Their Adventures in Reading, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, and is coauthor of Design in Nature.