# Dissipation

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In thermodynamics, dissipation is the result of an irreversible process that takes place in homogeneous thermodynamic systems. In a dissipative process, energy (internal, bulk flow kinetic, or system potential) transforms from an initial form to a final form, where the capacity of the final form to do mechanical work is less than that of the initial form. For example, heat transfer is dissipative because it is a transfer of internal energy from a hotter body to a colder one. Following the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy varies with temperature (reduces the capacity of the combination of the two bodies to do mechanical work), but never decreases in an isolated system.

## Contents

These processes produce entropy at a certain rate. The entropy production rate times ambient temperature gives the dissipated power. Important examples of irreversible processes are: heat flow through a thermal resistance, fluid flow through a flow resistance, diffusion (mixing), chemical reactions, and electrical current flow through an electrical resistance (Joule heating).

## 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.[ definition needed ]

A particular 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 more isotropic distribution of energy.

### Energy

"The conversion of mechanical energy into heat is called energy dissipation." – François Roddier  The term is also applied to the loss of energy due to generation of unwanted heat in electric and electronic circuits.

### Computational 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. 

### Mathematics

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

## Examples

### In hydraulic 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 waterfalls or 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  
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.

## History

The concept of dissipation was introduced in the field of thermodynamics by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) in 1852.  Lord Kelvin deduced that a subset of the above-mentioned irreversible dissipative processes will occur unless a process is governed by a "perfect thermodynamic engine". The processes that Lord Kelvin identified were friction, diffusion, conduction of heat and the absorption of light.

## Related Research Articles In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to a body or physical system to perform work on the body, or to heat it. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The unit of measurement in the International System of Units (SI) of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of one metre against a force of one newton. Entropy is a scientific concept, as well as a measurable physical property that is most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, or uncertainty. The term and the concept are used in diverse fields, from classical thermodynamics, where it was first recognized, to the microscopic description of nature in statistical physics, and to the principles of information theory. It has found far-ranging applications in chemistry and physics, in biological systems and their relation to life, in cosmology, economics, sociology, weather science, climate change, and information systems including the transmission of information in telecommunication. In thermodynamics and engineering, a heat engine is a system that converts heat to mechanical energy, which can then be used to do mechanical work. It does this by bringing a working substance from a higher state temperature to a lower state temperature. A heat source generates thermal energy that brings the working substance to the high temperature state. The working substance generates work in the working body of the engine while transferring heat to the colder sink until it reaches a low temperature state. During this process some of the thermal energy is converted into work by exploiting the properties of the working substance. The working substance can be any system with a non-zero heat capacity, but it usually is a gas or liquid. During this process, some heat is normally lost to the surroundings and is not converted to work. Also, some energy is unusable because of friction and drag.

In physics, statistical mechanics is a mathematical framework that applies statistical methods and probability theory to large assemblies of microscopic entities. It does not assume or postulate any natural laws, but explains the macroscopic behavior of nature from the behavior of such ensembles. A timeline of events in the history of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics establishes the concept of entropy as a physical property of a thermodynamic system. Entropy predicts the direction of spontaneous processes, and determines whether they are irreversible or impossible, despite obeying the requirement of conservation of energy, which is established in the first law of thermodynamics. The second law may be formulated by the observation that the entropy of isolated systems left to spontaneous evolution cannot decrease, as they always arrive at a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, where the entropy is highest. If all processes in the system are reversible, the entropy is constant. An increase in entropy accounts for the irreversibility of natural processes, often referred to in the concept of the arrow of time. The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic processes, distinguishing two kinds of transfer of energy, as heat and as thermodynamic work, and relating them to a function of a body's state, called internal energy. Heat transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use, conversion, and exchange of thermal energy (heat) between physical systems. Heat transfer is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes. Engineers also consider the transfer of mass of differing chemical species, either cold or hot, to achieve heat transfer. While these mechanisms have distinct characteristics, they often occur simultaneously in the same system. The heat death of the universe is a theory on the ultimate fate of the universe, which suggests the universe would evolve to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and would therefore be unable to sustain processes that increase entropy. Heat death does not imply any particular absolute temperature; it only requires that temperature differences or other processes may no longer be exploited to perform work. In the language of physics, this is when the universe reaches thermodynamic equilibrium. In thermodynamics, the Onsager reciprocal relations express the equality of certain ratios between flows and forces in thermodynamic systems out of equilibrium, but where a notion of local equilibrium exists. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics is a branch of thermodynamics that deals with physical systems that are not in thermodynamic equilibrium but can be described in terms of variables that represent an extrapolation of the variables used to specify the system in thermodynamic equilibrium. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics is concerned with transport processes and with the rates of chemical reactions. It relies on what may be thought of as more or less nearness to thermodynamic equilibrium. In science, a process that is not reversible is called irreversible. This concept arises frequently in thermodynamics.

In thermodynamics, the exergy of a system is the maximum useful work possible during a process that brings the system into equilibrium with a heat reservoir, reaching maximum entropy. When the surroundings are the reservoir, exergy is the potential of a system to cause a change as it achieves equilibrium with its environment. Exergy is the energy that is available to be used. After the system and surroundings reach equilibrium, the exergy is zero. Determining exergy was also the first goal of thermodynamics. The term "exergy" was coined in 1956 by Zoran Rant (1904–1972) by using the Greek ex and ergon meaning "from work", but the concept was developed by J. Willard Gibbs in 1873. The Joule expansion is an irreversible process in thermodynamics in which a volume of gas is kept in one side of a thermally isolated container, with the other side of the container being evacuated. The partition between the two parts of the container is then opened, and the gas fills the whole container. Classical thermodynamics considers three main kinds of thermodynamic process: (1) changes in a system, (2) cycles in a system, and (3) flow processes. In thermodynamics, work performed by a system is energy transferred by the system to its surroundings, by a mechanism through which the system can spontaneously exert macroscopic forces on its surroundings. In the surroundings, through suitable passive linkages, the work can lift a weight, for example. Energy can also transfer from the surroundings to the system; in a sign convention used in physics, such work has a negative magnitude. In thermodynamics, heat is energy in transfer to or from a thermodynamic system, by mechanisms other than thermodynamic work or transfer of matter. The various mechanisms of energy transfer that define heat are stated in the next section of this article. Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, a flow of energy, when a body is in contact with another that is colder or hotter.

Energy dissipation and entropy production extremal principles are ideas developed within non-equilibrium thermodynamics that attempt to predict the likely steady states and dynamical structures that a physical system might show. The search for extremum principles for non-equilibrium thermodynamics follows their successful use in other branches of physics. According to Kondepudi (2008), and to Grandy (2008), there is no general rule that provides an extremum principle that governs the evolution of a far-from-equilibrium system to a steady state. According to Glansdorff and Prigogine, irreversible processes usually are not governed by global extremal principles because description of their evolution requires differential equations which are not self-adjoint, but local extremal principles can be used for local solutions. Lebon Jou and Casas-Vásquez (2008) state that "In non-equilibrium ... it is generally not possible to construct thermodynamic potentials depending on the whole set of variables". Šilhavý (1997) offers the opinion that "... the extremum principles of thermodynamics ... do not have any counterpart for [non-equilibrium] steady states ." It follows that any general extremal principle for a non-equilibrium problem will need to refer in some detail to the constraints that are specific for the structure of the system considered in the problem. Entropy production is the amount of entropy which is produced in any irreversible processes such as heat and mass transfer processes including motion of bodies, heat exchange, fluid flow, substances expanding or mixing, anelastic deformation of solids, and any irreversible thermodynamic cycle, including thermal machines such as power plants, heat engines, refrigerators, heat pumps, and air conditioners.

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2. Glansdorff, P., Prigogine, I. (1971). Thermodynamic Theory of Structure, Stability, and Fluctuations, Wiley-Interscience, London, 1971, ISBN   0-471-30280-5, p. 61.
3. Eu, B.C. (1998). Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics: Ensemble Method, Kluwer Academic Publications, Dordrecht, ISBN   0-7923-4980-6, p. 49,
4. W. Thomson On the universal tendency in nature to the dissipation of mechanical energy Philosophical Magazine, Ser. 4, p. 304 (1852).