Category – Science
Reading time – 2 minutes
Max kleiber was a Swiss scientist.
He researched on agricultural plants and animals. He wanted to find, effect of body size on metabolic rate of the organisms, a thing that was useful in cattle industry.
Cattle industry owners saw potential in his research, as he could predict how fat their cattle will grow and how much bounty they can get by serving them to carnivorous masses.
Working over this, he stumbled upon a pattern, which is called kleiber law.
He noticed that as organisms grow in size, they slow down.
A rat has faster beating heart; as compared to an elephant. A bull’s heart beats slower than a cat, when he munches his grass.
He applied his mathematics knowledge, to analyse it and he found that it follows, “negative quarter power scaling.”
That means something; that blasts mind of every guy, who didn’t like maths at the school.
But, we can only know that if we take mass of an organism and do its square root and do square root of result obtained again; we will get approximate idea of its metabolism. Metabolism is 3/4 th power of its mass.
That means we do sqaure root twice.
By these ratios, we can predict relative metabolism of two animal species.
For example, if we take a cow and a rat. Let’s assume if cow is x times heavier than it; then cow’s heart will beat x times slower than rat and it will live roughly x times longer.
Scientist Geoffrey west took it further, when he applied this law to non living things like cities, creativity and ideas.
It applied well to cities when we saw cable length, petrol stations, factories etc.
But when he applied it to Idea generation and innovation it was not applicable.
As size of cities increased, number of ideas generated increased exponentially.
That is why cities serve as centres of growth and innovation.
As different ideas collide; they generates new combinations.
Hence, although kleiber’s law can help in comparison of heart rates and life-span of different species, it doesn’t apply everywhere as a basic law of energy distribution in nature.
Let’s stop here. I don’t see too many fans of mathematics, who scroll on social media.
Inspiration – Where the good ideas come from Steven Johnson.