A displacement of energy or matter that tends to reduce a difference of level or gradient between a system and its environment or among subsystems within the system.
"Flows are defined in terms of the rates of change of the value of the systems attributes" (J.van GIGCH, 1988, p.15).
A flow can be maintained in a permanent way only when the difference of level or gradient between the source and the sink is maintained.
For example our planet will be able to maintain and create organized structures and dissipate heat toward the external space only as long as the sun maintains its capacity to produce energy at a more or less constant level.
Any flow involves some work, but altogether a degradation of the energy it carries. Any flow corresponds to a well defined gradient, to which it is said to be conjugated.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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