1
Third Order Systems
H.B. Arsem
Process Energetics
July 2009
PROCESS DEFINITION
Taken from the beginning of the sequence of processes; the following progression illustrates
the reasoning used in developing a physical interpretation of the dissipation functions.
 A first order process describes the changes in a systems thermal energy in terms of its
temperature. The fundamental definition of entropy provides the connection
between the system energy and its thermal activity.
 The second order process functions depict the transfer of heat between regions of
differing temperature. These processes involve the movement of heat and the
creation of an energy flux. The equivalent mass of the energy flux generates a
momentum. In the activity space paradigm, dissipation of kinetic energy is through
the dispersion by momentum.
 A third order process describes the transfer of energy between systems with differing
fluxes. Movement from one inertial reference frame to another requires a change in
velocity. The accelerating transfer implies the action of a force and its associated
source of potential energy. In an activity space interpretation, third order processes
describe the dissipation of potential energy through a systems inertial and kinetic
activity.
PROCESS DERIVATION
The general form of the process is defined by the differential equation.
3
3
3 3
d E
E
ds
=
The third order process is a derivative of second order, inertial systems. These processes make
their appearance through the exchange of energy between two inertial reference frames. The
forces and acceleration required to mediate the exchange define the components of a third
order process.
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Subjecting an inertial reference frame to a small force initiates a third order process. The
example uses the separation of a mass into two parts to model the process action. The identity
of the activities can be made through an analysis of the functional forms associated with the
transition from a second to third order process.
Inertial Reference Frames
Our example begins with an inertial reference frame defined by a pair of masses sitting at rest.
The process starts when an internal force repels the masses and slowly moves the two apart.
Essentially, one inertial reference frame splits into two. For small dispersion velocities, this pair
of inertial reference frames provides a conceptual base for a third order process.
The second order example in the previous section showed that the small entropy changes are
proportional to the velocity shifts in an inertial reference frame.
dv s o
At low velocities, the initial energy,
0
E , of
the system approaches the intrinsic mass (red
dashed line) of the inertial system.
2
0 0
E m c
For small entropy shifts, the asymptotic value
of classical kinetic energy
2
1
0 2
m v (blue dashed
line) and momentum
0
m v (green dashed line)
approach the activity components of the
second order system (solid blue and green
lines). The small perturbation behavior can be summarized in the operator form.
( )
2
1
2
0 2
0
0
1
( )
s
d
m
v
P
dv
E
s
o
o ~
+
2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
2
1.5
1
0.5
0.5
1
1.5
2
Relativistic E
Classical Kinetic
Momentum
Classical Momentum
Rest Mass
Second Order Process
Entropy Shift
A
c
t i
v
i
t
y
2.296
2.296
E s ( )
1
1
2
s
2
.
P s ( )
s
1
2.5 2.5 s
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PROCESS IDENTIFICATION
Potential Processes
Third Order Approximations
Small entropy shifts in a third order process results in activity components with functional
forms similar to those in a second order process. In this case, the separation velocity of the two
masses defines the velocity of the process.
( )
( )
( )
2
3
1
0
1
6
0 3
2
1
0
0
s
d
d
m P
v
E
dv
v
s
o
o ~
+
Graphing the activity components in a manner similar to the second order example, finds that
the asymptotic functions (dashed lines) coincide with the activity values (solid lines) for small
entropy shifts.
 The system
energy (red)
approaches the
intrinsic value of
the energy
around 0 dv = .
 The first order
activity
approximation
(blue) increases
by
2
1
2
dv , giving
it a kinetic
behavior.
 Second order activity (green) in the system acts like momentum when the system is
subjected to small entropy fluctuations.
2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
1.5
1
0.5
0.5
1
1.5
Third Order Process
Entropy Shift
A
c
t i
v
i
t
y
1.879
1.879
E s ( )
1
K s ( )
1
2
s
2
.
P s ( )
s
2.5 2.5 s
Third Order Systems
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Field Energy
For small, nearly reversible actions, the third order process describes the acceleration of a
mass in a potential field. The activities reflect the systems momentum and kinetic behavior
while the energy term holds the accumulation of kinetic energy.
( )
2 3
1 1
0 0 2 6
1 1
s
m s ds m dv
o
 
+ = +

\ .
}
This is the energy used to accelerate the masses in the system.
Taken as a whole, the third order activity space describes the interaction of potential energy,
kinetic energy, and the movement associated with momentum. For weak potentials, the
dissipation function has all the elements of a Lagrangian.
Modes of a Potential Process
The conceptual picture of the third order process as a type of Lagrangian expression is a useful
starting point. However, as the process becomes increasingly irreversible it is apparent from the
graph that the kinetic and inertial activities deviate from their asymptotic relationships. In
addition, the actions of the complex process activities become increasingly apparent.
With real dissipative coupling coefficients, visualization of second order dispersion of kinetic
energy through the generation of momentum is straightforward. Third order processes involve
complex couplings of real and imaginary energies. The resulting patterns of interaction are
more complicated, and as a consequence, more difficult to envision. Experience in working with
activity space analysis has shown that separating the process into its linear modes helps to
develop an intuitive physical understanding of the action.
Modal Representation
In its most general form, the weighted sum of the three stationary modes defines a third order
activity vector,
s
o
A
.
( )
( ) ( )
3 3 1 1
2 2 2 2
0
1
3 3 1 1 1 1 1
1 0 1 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3
3 3 1 1
2
2 2 2 2
1 1
1
1
1
i s i s
s
s
c e c e i c e i
i i
o
o
o
+ A A
A
A
= + + +
+
In each of the terms, the eigenvalue expressed as an exponential, multiplies the components
of the eigenvector to define a stationary mode.
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 The first term describes a dissipation mode where the action is equally distributed
among the activity components.
 The second and third terms represent consolidation modes, describing the exchange
of energy into and out of its potential form.
The real eigenvalue generates the mode configuration that becomes dominant for large
changes of entropy. In the primary mode, 0 k = , the dissipation of real energy occurs through
thermal losses. Dissipative actions in the work modes, 1, 2 k = involves inertial losses as a
consequence of the conversion between potential and kinetic energy.
Persistent Patterns
The advantage of using a modal view of a process is that a modes activities have constant
dissipation coefficients. That is, each mode displays a fixed pattern of dissipation. By knowing
the modes energy, the constant dissipation coefficient,
3
k
, makes it possible to determine all
the modes activity components.
3 0
k k n k
n
o o
=
To the observer, it is the constant relationship among the activities that defines the character
of the modal process.
Complex Lagrangians
For example, the first derivative activity of mode k is proportional to its modal energy.
3
k
k k
dE
E
ds
=
Dissipation of the modal energy occurs through the (real) kinetic losses of the system and the
(imaginary) action of a potential energy.
( )
3
k k
k k k
d d
i i
ds ds
+ = +
The real part depicts a spontaneous dissipation of energy, such as into heat through friction.
The imaginary part describes the conversion between kinetic and potential energy. The physical
model portrays this in terms of a movement through the gradient of a potential field.
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Intensive and Extensive Properties
The relationship between the modal activity components can also be interpreted in terms of
the modes intensive and extensive properties. The dissipation constant reflects the intensity of
the mode, while the cumulative action of the modes energy represents its extensive behavior.
3
0
s
k k k
E E ds =
}
Keeping in mind that the systems total energy is the weighted sum of the modal energies, the
dissipation factor appears as a persistent physical character of each mode, a fixed quantity of
action.
END NOTES
The third order process represents the missing link between the spacetime continuum and
the discrete mechanics of quantum physics. It mediates the transfer between inertial reference
frames but is not always continuous in space and time. It has the elements of the potential
fields of quantum systems but is not necessarily periodic. Potential processes provide the
conceptual transition between the infinity of space and time and the infinitesimal nature of
matter.