Toward a Quantitative Unifying Theory of Natural Design of Flow Systems: Emergence and Evolution

  • A. F. MiguelEmail author
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


The idea of beauty and quality of design of the natural systems found a broad consensus in the natural philosophers [1]. This is because living systems are wonderfully adaptable and can survive in a complex natural environment. Attempts to imitate living systems have been made since ancient times. The identification of animals as streamlined bodies with applications to manufactured devices for drag comes from Renaissance period [2, 3]. Leonardo da Vinci recognized the importance of the relationship between design and function. He noticed that a fish could move through water with little resistance because its streamlined shape allowed the water to flow smoothly over the afterbody without prematurely separating [4]. Da Vinci’s flying machines powered by man were drawn in the 1490s based on the observation of birds [2] (Fig. 2.1).


Entropy Generation Rate Stony Coral Natural Design Sheltered Site Minimum Travel Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Crowe MJ. Mechanics from Aristotle to Einstein. Santa Fe: Green Lion Press; 2007.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laurenza D. Leonardo's machines: Da Vinci's inventions revealed. Roma: Giunti Editori; 2005.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Miguel AF. Constructal patterns formation in nature, pedestrian motion and epidemics propagation. In: Bejan, Merkx, editors. Constructal theory of social dynamics. New York: Springer; 2007. p. 85–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Guillen M. Five equations that changed the world: the power and poetry of mathematics. New York: Hyperion; 1996.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hall TS. Ideas of life and matter: studies in the history of general physiology,600 BC–1900AD. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1969.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Borelli GA. De motu animalium (The movement of animals). Rome: AngeloBernabo; 1680.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bejan A, Lorente S, Miguel AF, Reis AH, editors. Constructal human dynamics, security and sustainability, Series Human and Societal Dynamics, Vol. 50, IOS Press, Amsterdam 2009.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Miguel AF. Natural flow systems: acquiring their constructal morphology. Int J Des Nat Ecodyn. 2010;5:230–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sullivan LH. The autobiography of an idea. New York: Dover Books on Architecture; 2008.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bar-Cohen Y. Biomimetics: biologically inspired technologies. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sarikaya M, Aksay IA, editors. Biomimetics: design and processing of materials. Woodbury, New York: AIP Press; 1995.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Charles K. Curved electronic eye created. Nature. doi: 10.1038/News.2008.1004
  13. 13.
    Vogel S. Cat’s paws and catapults. New York: W.W. Norton; 1998.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sarikaya M, Tamerler C, Jen AK-Y, Schulten K, Baney F. Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology. Nat Mater. 2003;2:577–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Waterfield R. The first philosophers: the presocratics and sophists. Oxford world’s classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Eddington A. The nature of the physical world. Michigan: University of Michigan Press; 1981.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bejan A. Street network theory of organization in nature. J Adv Transport. 1996;30:85–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bejan A. Shape and structure from engineering to nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2000.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bejan A, Lorente S. The constructal law and the thermodynamics of flow systems with configuration. Int J Heat Mass Tran. 2004;47:3203–14.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bejan A, Lorente S. Constructal theory of generation of configuration in nature and engineering. J Appl Phys. 2006;100:041301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bejan A, Lorente S. Design with constructal theory. Hoboken: Wiley; 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bejan A, Lorente S. The constructal law of design and evolution in nature. Phil Trans R Soc B. 2010;365:1335–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bejan A, Ledezma GA. Streets tree networks and urban growth: optimal geometry for quickest access between a finite-size volume and one point. Physica A. 1998;255:211–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Biswas AK, Cordeiro NV,. Brage BPF, editors. Management of Latin American river basins: Amazon, Plata, and São Francisco, Water resources management and policy series. United Nations University; 1999Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mamdouh S. Hydrology of the Nile river basin. New York: Elsevier; 1985.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    West GB, Brown JH. The origin of allometric scaling laws in biology from genomes to ecosystems: towards a quantitative unifying theory of biological structure and organization. J Exp Biol. 2005;208:1575–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Liljenström H, Svedin U, editors. Micro, meso, macro: addressing complex systems couplings. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing; 2005.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bejan A, Lorente S, Miguel AF, Reis AH. Along with Constructal Theory, UNIL ∙ FGSE Workshop Series No. 1, J. Hernandez and M. Cosinschi, editors. Lausanne: University of Lausanne, Faculty of Geosciences and the Environment, 2006.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Reis AH, Miguel AF, Bejan A. Constructal theory of particle agglomeration and design of air-cleaning devices. J Phys D. 2006;39:2311–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bejan A, Gobin D. Constructal theory of droplet impact geometry. Int J Heat Mass Tran. 2006;49:2412–9.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Miguel AF. Lungs as a natural porous media: architecture, airflow characteristics and transport of suspended particles. In: Heat and mass transfer in porous media, Advanced Structured Materials Series. Berlin: Springer. 2012;13: 115–37Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bejan A, Rocha LAO, Lorente S. Thermodynamic optimization of geometry: T- and Y-shaped constructs of fluid streams. Int J Therm Sci. 2000;39:949–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wechsatol W, Lorente S, Bejan A. Tree-shaped flow structures with local junction losses. Int J Heat Mass Tran. 2006;49:2957–64.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Bejan A. Constructal tree network for fluid flow between a finite-size volume and one source or sink. Revue Générale de Thermique. 1997;36:592–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Bejan A, Lorente S. Constructal tree-shaped flow structures. Appl Therm Eng. 2007;27:755–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bejan A. Advanced engineering thermodynamics. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley; 1997.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bejan A. Advanced engineering thermodynamics. 3rd ed. Hoboken: Wiley; 2006.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Reis AH, Miguel AF, Aydin M. Constructal theory of flow architecture of the lungs. Med Phys. 2004;31:1135–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Reis AH, Miguel AF. Constructal theory and flow architectures in living systems. Therm Sci. 2006;10:57–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Miguel AF, Bejan A. The principle that generates dissimilar patterns inside aggregates of organisms. Physica A. 2009;388:727–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Miguel AF. Quantitative study of the CO2 emission to atmosphere from biological scaling laws. Int J Global Warming. 2009;1:129–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Bejan A. The tree of convective heat streams: its thermal insulation function and the predicted ¾ power relation between body heat loss and body size. Int J Heat Mass Tran. 2001;44:699–704.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Bejan A, Marden JH. Unifying constructal theory for scale effects in running, swimming and flying. J Experiment Biol. 2006;209:238–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Bejan A, Marden JH. Constructing animal locomotion from new thermodynamics theory. Am Sci. 2006;94:342–9.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Bejan A, Lorente S, Lee J. Unifying constructal theory of tree roots, canopies and forests. J Theor Biol. 2008;254:529–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Bejan A. Constructal theory of pattern formation. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci. 2007;11:753–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Reis AH, Bejan A. Constructal theory of global circulation and climate. Int J Heat Mass Tran. 2006;49:1857–75.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Reis AH. Constructal view of scaling laws of river basins. Geomorphology. 2006;78:201–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Alexander C, Ishikawa S, Silverstein M, Jacobson M, Fiksdahl-King I, Angel S. A pattern language. New York: Oxford University Press; 1977.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Krier L. Architecture: choice or fate. Berkshire: Windsor; 1998.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Giesen K, Südekum J. Zipf's law for cities in the regions and the country. J Econ Geogr. 2011;11:667–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ben-Jacob E, Cohen I, Shochet O, Aronson I, Levine H, Tsimering L. Complex bacterial patterns. Nature. 1995;373:566–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Merks R, Hoekstra A, Kaandorp J, Sloot P. Models of coral growth: spontaneous branching, compactification and the laplacian growth assumption. J Theor Biol. 2003;224:153–66.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Thar R, Kuhl M. Complex pattern formation of marine gradient bacteria explained by a simple computer model. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005;246:75–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Howard M. Hydroponic Food Production. Santa Barbara: Woodbridge Press; 1994.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Schreckenberg M, Sharma SD, editors. Pedestrian and evacuation dynamics. New York: Springer; 2002.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Anderson C, McShea DW. Individual versus social complexity, with particular reference to ant colonies. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2001;76:211–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Hyland KM, Cao TT, Malechuk AM, Lewis LA, Schneider SS. Vibration signal behaviour and the use of modulatory communication in established and newly founded honeybee colonies. Anim Behav. 2007;73:541–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Tumlinson JH, Silverstein RJ, Moser JC, Brownlee RG, Ruth JM. Identification of the trail pheromone of a leaf-cutting ant Atta texana. Nature. 1971;234:348–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Miguel AF. Constructal pattern formation in stony corals, bacterial colonies and plant roots under different hydrodynamics conditions. J Theor Biol. 2006;242:954–61.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Miguel AF. Constructal theory of pedestrian dynamics. Phys Lett A. 2009;373:1734–8.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Bejan A, Lorente S. The constructal law and the evolution of design in nature. Phys Life Rev. 2011;8:209–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Miguel AF. The physics principle of the generation of flow configuration, comment on “The constructal law and the evolution of design in nature” by Bejan & Lorente. Phys Life Rev. 2011;8:243–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Bejan A, Zane JP. Design in nature: how the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organization. New York: Doubleday; 2012.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Bejan A, Merkx GW, editors. Constructal theory of social dynamics. New York: Springer; 2007.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Bejan A. Constructal self-organization of research: empire building versus the individual investigator. Int J Des Nat Ecodyn. 2008;3:1–13.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics & Geophysics Center of ÉvoraUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

Personalised recommendations