The physics origin of the hierarchy of bodies in space

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© 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. Here we show that bodies of the same size suspended uniformly in space constitute a system (a "suspension") in a state of uniform volumetric tension because of mass-to-mass forces of attraction. The system "snaps" hierarchically, and evolves faster to a state of reduced tension when the bodies coalesce spontaneously nonuniformly, i.e., hierarchically, into few large and many small bodies suspended in the same space. Hierarchy, not uniformity, is the design that emerges, and it is in accord with the constructal law. The implications of this principle of physics in natural organization and evolution are discussed.






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Bejan, A, and RW Wagstaff (2016). The physics origin of the hierarchy of bodies in space. Journal of Applied Physics, 119(9). 10.1063/1.4941986 Retrieved from

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Adrian Bejan

J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Bejan was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal 2018 and the Humboldt Research Award 2019. His research covers engineering science and applied physics: thermodynamics, heat transfer, convection, design, and evolution in nature.

He is ranked among the top 0.01% of the most cited and impactful world scientists (and top 10 in Engineering world wide) in the 2019 citations impact database created by Stanford University’s John Ioannidis, in PLoS Biology.  He is the author of 30 books and 700 peer-referred articles. His h-index is 111 with 92,000 citations on Google Scholar. He received 18 honorary doctorates from universities in 11 countries.

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