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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 many 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.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.36(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.64(d)|
About the Author
Adrian Bejan has pioneered numerous original methods in thermodynamics, such as entropy generation minimization, scale analysis of convection, heatlines and masslines, and the constructal law of design and evolution in nature. He is ranked among the hundred most cited authors in all engineering by the Institute of Scientific Information. He is the author of more than 550 peer-reviewed journal articles and twenty-four books, including Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature; Constructal Theory of Social Dynamics; and Design with Constructal Theory. His treatises Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics and Convection Heat Transfer are now in their third editions and are used as graduate textbooks in universities around the world. He has been awarded sixteen honorary doctorates by universities in eleven countries, including the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Sapienza University of Rome and has received numerous national and international society awards. Bejan is a graduate of MIT and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, at the Miller Institute of Basic Research in Science. He was appointed as a full professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University in 1984, and J. A. Jones Distinguished Professor in 1989.
J. Peder Zane is an assistant professor of journalism and mass communications at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is an award-winning columnist who has worked for the New York Times and the News & Observer (Raleigh). He has edited and contributed to two books, Remarkable Reads: 34 Writers and Their Adventures in Reading and The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The title is misleading as to the content. As a physician, I was hoping for more descriptions of actual designs that are reproduced in different organisms, plants and animals. Tell us more about conserved patterns in nature... I enjoyed his description of tree size in forests and airports. The airport chapter would have benefitted from comments from the architect. His theory about the golden ratio and vision needs more support. Why does moving the eyes in certain patterns provoke positive emotion? He mentions head tilt briefly but does not discuss fusional amplitudes of the extraocular muscles or dominance/submission cues that are associated with head tilt. When discussing academic centers, he does not address public vs private or about the size of student bodies. It seemed self serving, since he is at Duke. Most of the citations at the end of his book were to his own publications. While the book may be geared towards a general audience, it reads like polemic instead of a modest description of complicated subjects.
While the subject of flow as a drive for design in nature is thought provoking, the author seems to spend more time trying to convince the reader of his own intelligence and credibility than he does in offering any rigorous explanation or evidence for his claims. The bigotry and bias within the first ten pages alone was extremely off-putting. The book as a whole seemed like a poorly fleshed-out attack on not only religious views, but also on chaos theory, Darwin, and others.