Evolution as Physics


  • Adrian Bejan


constructal, evolution, hierarchy, wealth, life, death, physics, economics


Thermodynamics today is the physics domain in which three previously selfstanding lines of thinking merged to cover the broadest range of natural phenomena to date. The three lines were work-heat-design, or mechanics-caloric-evolution. Covered now as ‘physics’ are the previously separate domains of biology, technology, economics, and social organization. The purpose of this brief article is to outline this broad coverage by drawing attention to the new terms, physical properties, and concepts that have crept into physics, for example: freedom, evolution, performance, objective, purpose, better, design, configuration, optimization, complexity, diversity, hierarchy, size, wealth, equality, and economies of scale. Along the way, I clarify some of the most common misconceptions that persist in this expanded domain of physics In sum, this is a brief look at the evolution of thermodynamics and how the traditional concept of ‘evolution’ itself fits in this new scientific framework.


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