- Bejan, Adrian, How nature takes shape,
Mechanical Engineering, vol. 119 no. 10
pp. 90 - 92 .
(last updated on 2007/04/06)
Engineers simultaneously applied the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat and mass transfer to construct models that account for the inherent irreversibility of processes executed by a system, natural or man-made, and its components. This development, known as entropy-generation minimization, is an aspect of thermodynamic optimization that sheds light on the organization of the natural world. In the process of performing such analyses, engineers determine the entropy that a system generates as a function of its physical parameters, including size, shapes, and materials. After gaining this understanding, engineers, at least in theory, can go on to optimize the system's performance in terms of its constraints.