**Dissipate**

**Dissipation** is the result of irreversible processes that take place in inhomogeneous thermodynamic systems. A dissipative process is a process in which energy (internal, bulk flow kinetic, or system potential) is transformed from some initial form to some final form; the capacity of the final form to do mechanical work is less than that of the initial form. For example, transfer of energy as heat is dissipative because it is a transfer of internal energy from a body at a higher temperature to another body at a lower temperature. The second law of thermodynamics implies that this reduces the capacity of the the second body to do mechanical work. As the heat transfers from the first body to the second body, some of the initial heat converts to work, while the rest of the initial heat *dissipates* into waste heat.

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.

Important examples of irreversible processes are:

- Heat flow through a thermal resistance
- Fluid flow through a flow resistance
- Diffusion (mixing)
- Chemical reactions
- Electrical current flow through an electrical resistance (Joule heating).

The concept of dissipation was introduced in the field of thermodynamics by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) in 1852.

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 energyâ€”that is, conversion of coherent or directed energy flow into an indirected or more isotropic distribution of energy.

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.

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.

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*.

Read more about Dissipate: In Water Engineering

### Famous quotes containing the word dissipate:

“It’s well

If God who holds you to the pit of hell,

Much as one holds a spider, will destroy,

Baffle and *dissipate* your soul.”

—Robert Lowell (1917–1977)