Optimality principles have long been popular in the natural sciences and enjoyed much successes in various applications. However these principles seem to be disparate, each applied in limited contexts and there are far too many of them causing some consternation among scientists and philosophers of science regarding the ad-hoc nature of the optimality arguments. In this paper, we discuss the Maximum entropy production (MaxEP) as a plausible over-arching principle to understand stable configurations in fluid mechanics and related problems. The MaxEP being based upon sound physical arguments and in the immutable laws of thermodynamics along with the fact that it has been successfully co-opted across disciplines makes it worthy of attention. We discuss various physical and metaphysical aspects of this principle and use it to analyze some model problems regarding patterns in particle sedimentation such as sedimentation of a particle in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids and stable deformation of a falling droplet.
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics