We all know that the geometric object of minimal surface area amongst all shapes with a fixed volume is the round ball, whose boundary is spherical. Water blobs try to minimise surface area and curl into spherical droplets. The physical problem of surface-area minimisation is thus quite well understood. What about the opposite problem of surface-area maximisation? Does the problem even make sense? Indeed it does. Trees try to maximise surface area to get the most of sunlight through their leaves.

Contributions of IIT Bombay researcher to the field that won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics

Mumbai/ Nov 21, 2023