The evolution of airplanes

July 22, 2014 3:31 PM

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WASHINGTON D.C. July 22, 2014 -- One of the traditional arguments against Darwinian evolution has been that no one can confirm the process exists because it occurs on a time scale immensely greater than a human lifetime. Adrian Bejan, the J. A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University, has disagreed with that notion ever since 1996 when he discovered the Constructal Law, a fundamental principle of physics that underlies the evolution of flow systems as they change in design over time.

In a new paper in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, Bejan and colleagues apply this now-famous law to airplanes, showing, as he said, "that we can witness evolution in our lifetime by documenting the evolution of a flow system that is a little more than a century old: the flying '...

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