Minimal Surfaces are Stable

Nature favors minimal surfaces because minimal surfaces are physically stable. Minimum surfaces are common bubbles, planets, and cells to name several. The eardrum spanning the handle of the malleus and the annulus and the membranes between some cells are minimal surfaces. Having a minimal area of surface means that the surface stores minimal energy. Because surface energy is directly proportional to a surface area, as a result of minimizing the surface energy, the area of the film is least...

Mesophysics and Granular Models

Now lets continue shrinking until our system is smaller yet. The realm of mesophysics currently incorporates microelectronics, quantum computing and molecular biology. Mesophysics asks such questions as how do we transport electrons and how might we achieve higher densities of components in our microelectronic silicon-based circuits. In conventional circuits, electrons flow as would streams of water confined within the boundaries of their conductors. The wider a conductor is, the less the...

Preface

'No honeycomb is built without a bee adding circle to circle, cell to cell, the wax and honey of a mausoleum, this round dome proves its maker is alive.' At times our restless imaginations seek insights unencumbered by what we definitely know. We observe nature then read and wander in imaginary spaces. We then return to nature to see if some of the things we imagined are there and whether there or not, we pose questions. We realize everything we see connects with so many things we do not. We...

Swamps of Capillaries

Capillaries are the exchange vessels and have the smallest inside diameters of all the vessels. However, there are so many capillaries that their combined inside diameters are greater than the inside diameters of the arteries, so all arterial blood can pass through capillaries without pooling. Arterioles reduce the perfusion pressure of arterial blood to the lower blood pressures of capillaries. Blood flow in capillaries is very slow and is not uniform. In one capillary, flow may slow down,...

Countercurrent Heat Exchanger

Honeybees fly at ambient temperatures up to forty-five degrees Celsius when other 'bee-sized' insects cannot. Bees employ an efficient counter-current heat exchanger that apposes two oppositely directed flows of hemolymph in close proximity to control heat loss and heat gain to maintain heat balance. If one flow is of a higher temperature, heat passively flows downhill from higher to lower temperature across the wall separating the flows. At warm-up, hemolymph flowing aft conveying heat from...

Feedback and Bee Stings

Negative feedback opposes change and restores stability. Positive feedback amplifies a disturbance's effects. Both types of feedback control a disturbance and may occur within the same system. A predator receives a bee-sting. If he moves away from the hive, it is negative feedback. But if the disturbance continues, angry bees may entice others to sting, until the entire colony emerges stinging. If the predator and the angry bees all die, together they have displayed positive feedback.