You are on page 1of 2

Definition

Thermodynamic dissipative processes are essentially irreversible. They produce entropy at

a finite rate. In a process in which the temperature is locally continuously defined, the local
density of rate of entropy production times local temperature gives the local density of
dissipated power.
A particular occasion of occurrence of a dissipative process cannot be described by a
single individual Hamiltonian formalism. A dissipative process requires a collection of
admissible individual Hamiltonian descriptions, exactly which one describes the actual
particular occurrence of the process of interest being unknown. This includes friction, and
all similar forces that result in decoherency of energythat is, conversion of coherent or
directed energy flow into an indirected or moreisotropic distribution of energy.

Energy
"The conversion of mechanical energy into heat is called energy dissipation." Franois
Roddier[1]

Physics
In computational physics, numerical dissipation (also known as "numerical diffusion")
refers to certain side-effects that may occur as a result of a numerical solution to a
differential equation. When the pure advection equation, which is free of dissipation, is
solved by a numerical approximation method, the energy of the initial wave may be
reduced in a way analogous to a diffusional process. Such a method is said to contain
'dissipation'. In some cases, "artificial dissipation" is intentionally added to improve
the numerical stability characteristics of the solution.[2]

Mathematics
A formal, mathematical definition of dissipation, as commonly used in the mathematical
study of measure-preserving dynamical systems, is given in the articlewandering set.

Examples
In water engineering
Dissipation is the process of converting mechanical energy of downward-flowing water into
thermal and acoustical energy. Various devices are designed in stream beds to reduce the
kinetic energy of flowing waters to reduce their erosive potential on banks and river
bottoms. Very often these devices look like small waterfallsor cascades, where water flows
vertically or over riprap to lose some of its kinetic energy.

Irreversible processes
Important examples of irreversible processes are:
1.Heat flow through a thermal resistance
2.Fluid flow through a flow resistance
3.Diffusion (mixing)

4.Chemical reactions[3][4]
5.Electrical current flow through an electrical resistance (Joule heating).

Waves or oscillations
Waves or oscillations, lose energy over time, typically from friction or turbulence. In many
cases the "lost" energy raises the temperature of the system. For example, a wave that
loses amplitude is said to dissipate. The precise nature of the effects depends on the
nature of the wave: an atmospheric wave, for instance, may dissipate close to the surface
due to friction with the land mass, and at higher levels due to radiative cooling.