- Bejan, A., Constructal theory: from thermodynamic and geometric optimization to predicting shape in nature,
Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 39 no. 16-18
pp. 1705 - 1718 [S0196-8904(98)00054-5] .
(last updated on 2007/04/06)
This is a review of recent theoretical developments toward predicting macroscopic organization (the occurrence of shape and structure) in natural flow systems, animate and inanimate. The starting point is the question of how to optimize the access between one point and a finite volume (i.e., an infinite number of points). The main discovery is purely geometric. Consequently, the optimal-access solution for the total volume is obtained by optimizing volume shape at every length scale, in a sequence that begins with the smallest building block (elemental system), and proceeds toward larger building blocks (assemblies, constructs). The solution is constructed. The paths form a tree network in which every single geometric detail is determined theoretically. The constructal principle is further illustrated for fluid flow between a volume and one point, for minimum-time travel between an area and one point, and for minimum-cost economics structures.
Thermodynamics;Optimization;Heat resistance;Heat flux;Thermal conductivity;Flow of fluids;Cost benefit analysis;