Christophe Goupil is Professor at the University of Paris (Diderot).
After twenty years devoted to the study of dissipative processes in condensed matter physics (superconductors, thermoelectricity), he took part in the foundation of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Energies of Tomorrow (LIED), of which he is the deputy director. He is in charge of the DyCo team, which is specialised in the study of coupled dynamics, based on the Onsager formalism, initially in the context of thermoelectric conversion. This work has led to the extension of the formalism to finite-time thermodynamics in other fields such as biology and economics.
For the past four years, the DyCo team has been developing these models through numerous interdisciplinary partnerships within the LIED and with external partners (hospitals, INSEP, French Development Agency (AFD)). Whether it is a macroeconomic model for a finite world , or a thermodynamic approach to biology , the work of the DyCo team is focused on the conditions of energy use, which is, in itself, a formulation of the second principle of thermodynamics applied to various systems. The question of the operating conditions of thermodynamic systems and the optima of these systems is at the heart of the team's work.
 Presentation by Christophe Goupil (LIED, Université Paris-Diderot) at the Energy and Prosperity Chair Research Seminar.
This session took place on 8 June 2018 and was on the theme: Physicists and Economists: in search of a paradigm.
Intervention of Christophe Goupil at Biomim'expo 2019 :
Urban metabolism: if the city were an animal?
The term 'urban metabolism' is now widely used. Beyond its metaphorical dimensions, it primarily concerns the issues of matter, energy and water.
By considering the functioning of an animal undergoing an effort, we propose to analyse some of the lessons drawn from this bio-inspired view of the living being in its environment. Some of the questions that populate our debates are then shed in a new, sometimes unexpected light: Do circular flows go round in circles? Do metabolisms always function optimally? What is optimal functioning? Why are divergent flows the rule in our cities? Who governs the metabolic dynamics: flows, waste, feedback? Why are buildings not so intelligent and users not so stupid? How do users confirm the second law of thermodynamics?
Beyond purely technical observations, we propose to consider these bio-inspired insights as elements of reflection, which allow us to leave the place of metaphors and anchor our decisions as close as possible to physical realities on the one hand, and social and cultural realities on the other. After all, doesn't urban metabolism mean above all that we are the animals that make our cities come alive?