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Dr. Adrian Bejan: How Cooling Laptops Led to Constructal Theory

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Published on Apr 19, 2018

Adrian Bejan had to find a way to cool smaller and smaller electronics without using fans or coolants. Faced with this challenge, he discovered how to flow heat away from small electronics and follow natural pathways allowing it to escape on its own. This discovery not only keeps your laptop from overheating (and allows portable electronics to even exist), it sparked an entire line of thought for Bejan about how natural systems branch and flow.

As he explains, "The designs we see in nature are not the result of chance. They arise naturally, spontaneously because they enhance access to flow in time." A river delta, for example, begins with a single stream, then develops tributaries and branches, increasing in complexity as water continues to flow and seek easier paths. From this, “constructal theory” was born.

Since 1824 (77 years longer than the Nobel Prizes), The Franklin Institute has been recognizing scientists and engineers who have changed the world -- and our lives. Find out more at http://fi.edu/awards.

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