Have you ever wondered how to build the perfect fire? Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, knows how, and has shared his secrets in a new study published in Nature Scientific Reports. Bejan says with all variables equal, the best fire is the one that is as tall as it is wide.

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This is why your fire is the same as the fire of the caveman built so long ago. The shape of this perfect fire creates the best atmosphere for the flow of air and heat. Our ability, as humans, to build fires made it possible for us to migrate and spread throughout the world — including to places that are cold. The Constructal Law, a scientific law designed by Bejan 20 years ago, theorizes that movement in nature, such as in trees, rivers, air currents or other things, evolve into shapes that create “easier access to flows.”

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The law, which is now recognized internationally, helps find ways to improve the design and maximize the efficiency of systems created by humans. “Our bonfires are shaped as cones and pyramids,” Bejan said. “As tall as they are wide at the base. They look the same in all sizes, from the firewood to the chimney.” Fires look the same in bonfire form and in your charcoal grill. This perfect shape is the reason why.

So, when creating your next fire, make a base of kindling that is as wide as the tee-pee of firewood you put on top is tall. This creates the hottest, most efficient fire, indeed, the perfect fire.

Via Science Daily

Images via Duke University and Jameel Winter