Dissipative vs. conservative

  1. Hi.

    I'm reading a book on deterministic chaos, and an important distinction seems to be the one between dissipative and conservative dynamical systems. A dissipative system is defined as a system whose "phase space volumes shrink", whereas in a conservative system phase space volumes are conserved.

    What does this mean?
  2. jcsd
  3. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Nice discussion of Phase Space

    In a conservative system, momentum (velocity) is conserved, i.e. not dissipated (reduced), and a particular set (domain) of position and momentum (velocity) statepoints remains. In SHM, e.g. pendulum, the velocity and position have a preserved relationship.

    In a dissipative system, the momentum (velocity) is continually decreasing as a function of position/displacement, as energy is lost (dissipated) with continued motion, until the magnitude of velocity (speed) reaches zero as kinetic energy reaches zero.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?