About the Constructal Law
What is the definition of the Constructal Law?
The constructal law was stated by Adrian Bejan in 1996 as follows: "For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it.
What does that mean in plain English?
When any thing is flowing through a channel of some kind, if possible, it will morph the channel to increase the access to flow, to make the thing flow easier. For example, when rivers rise, they burst their banks and create new channels to liberate the flow of water. Rivers start as myriads of small tributaries, merging and flowing into larger ones, then into a large and efficient river, until it reaches the delta and slows down, again spreading out into myriad small channels to spread the slower flow over a larger area. This principle is mathematically precise and allows prediction of all kinds of hierarchical flow patters, including the architecture of our lungs and trees, the design of animals and machines that move across the landscape and in fact, every system in which something flows.
Rather than being shaped by blind processes of evolution, the forms of everything we see in the natural world, trees, animals, rivers etc. are determined by exquisitely tuned responses to the Constructal Law. Dr. Bejan calls this phenomenon design in nature.
What is Constructal Evolution
We can observe that the universe itself is not a random collection of gas, but highly ordered stars, planets and galaxies, all of them formed (designed) by following the Constructal Law. But the universe is not static - it is constantly evolving to create ever more efficient energy flows. Since what we traditionally call life, biological infodynamic systems, also follow the same law, the conclusion is that the entire universe is in reality undergoing design evolution. In other words, everything we can see, from stars to rivers to trees and animals, to Facebook to machines are all alive and evolving. This is the theme of his latest book, The Physics of Life.
Dr. Bejan's discovery has staked out a vast wilderness to be explored, not unlike Darwin's formulation of the theory of evolution. Much if not all of that wilderness is defined and modulated by the flows of information and knowledge. This modest web site is a simple canoe pushing into the placid waters at mouth of the mighty Amazon and heading upstream on an epic journey to discover the wonders and riches to be discovered on our way to the source of all that has shaped our world.
Who is Dr. Adrian Bejan?
Dr. Adrian Bejan is the J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University. Professor Bejan is ranked since 2001 among the 100 most highly cited authors worldwide in engineering (all fields, all countries), the Institute for Scientific Information. Professor Bejan has received 18 honorary doctorates from universities in 11 countries. He was born in Romania and escaped Communism to come to the United States, where he earned several degrees from MIT including his PhD.
But Dr. Bejan is far more than just an academic star. His insights into the structure of the universe are profound for our understanding of the world around us. One might think that all of the important scientific discoveries were made by long-dead old men with long beards and unkempt hair. It is astonishing to realize that such an important discovery could have been hiding in plain sight for eternity, only to be discovered by someone we can meet and enjoy conversation and a glass of wine with in our own brief time walking this planet.
How do I learn more about the Constructal Law
You can find a list of Constructal resources at constructal.org. You can find his books on the Amazon Adrian Bejan author's page. If you have any questions, or would like to know more about the Constructal Law or Dr. Bejan's speaking schedule, please let us know via the Contact Us page on this site.
What is Infonomics?
The study of "infonomics" - how humans use and value information - was established by Mark Heyer in the 1980s to analyze interactive media and information systems, the intersection between human and technical life forms and their mutual development. Since that time, the term has been applied to a wide range of topics, from the value of information stocks to cyber-security and many other topics relevant to human-machine interactions.
Currently, Mr. Heyer is using the term infonomics to include all human-machine interactions, including value systems like business and blockchain and security systems as an important part of the human-machine equation.
What is Infodynamics?
Mr. Heyer is using the term infodynamics to describe the larger context of biological, neuronal, social, technical and networked life forms as information systems operating under the Constructal Law.
Where can I learn more about infonomics?
The Infonomics Society provides a wide range of information and services on the subject of infonomics.