Why humans build fires shaped the same way.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Bejan, Adrian
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Sci Rep
Volume: 5
Pagination: 11270
Date Published: 2015
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 2045-2322

Here we see why humans unwittingly build fires that look the same: edifices of fuel, as tall as they are wide. The pile of fuel is permeable, air invades it by natural convection and drives the combustion. I show that the hottest pile of burning fuel occurs when the height of the pile is roughly the same as its base diameter. Future studies may address the shape effect of wind, material type, and packing. Key is why humans of all eras have been relying on this design of fire "unwittingly". The reason is that the heat flow from fire facilitates the movement and spreading of human mass on the globe.

DOI: 10.1038/srep11270
Alternate Journal: Sci Rep
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