"The Physics of Life" explores the roots of the big question by examining the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings.Read more...
"The Physics of Life" explores the roots of the big question by examining the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings. Bejan explores controversial and relevant issues such as sustainability, water and food supply, fuel, and economy, to critique the state in which the world understands positions of power and freedom. Breaking down concepts such as desire and power, sports health and culture, the state of economy, water and energy, politics and distribution, Bejan uses the language of physics to explain how each system works in order to clarify the meaning of evolution in its broadest scientific sense, moving the reader towards a better understanding of the world's systems and the natural evolution of cultural and political development.
"The Physics of Life "argues that the evolution phenomenon is much broader and older than the evolutionary designs that constitute the biosphere, empowering readers with a new view of the globe and the future, revealing that the urge to have better ideas has the same physical effect as the urge to have better laws and better government. This is evolution explained loudly but also elegantly, forging a path that flows sustainability.
- ISBN-13: 9781250078827
- ISBN-10: 1250078822
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press
- Publish Date: May 2016
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In this quirky, occasionally ingenious work, Bejan (Design in Nature), a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, explores evolution as a phenomenon not of biology but of physics. He proposes “the constructal law” that defines life as anything that moves and evolves, including rivers, cities, snowflakes, and lightning, as well as humans, other creatures, and human culture. When movement stops, life ends. Having set out this provocative idea, Bejan spends half a dozen chapters discussing phenomena that evolve according to his definition. Readers undeterred by equations, tables, and graphs will learn that constructal law supposedly explains the advance of technology, growth of cities, increasing skill of athletes, and inevitability of death. These explanations are not for the faint of heart and the work betrays the type of efficiency fetishism that only an engineer could espouse. Applying mathematics and the hard sciences to such disciplines as history, economics, literature, or human behavior has a long and undistinguished history; Bejan’s enthusiasm is obvious, but readers with fortitude and technical knowledge will find stimulating theories mixed with errors, and poor philosophical and sociopolitical reasoning presented as deeply significant but without special insights. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group. (June)