A diffuser is the mechanical device that is designed to control the characteristics of a fluid at the entrance to a thermodynamic open system. Diffusers are used to slow the fluid’s velocity and to enhance its mixing into the surrounding fluid. In contrast, a nozzle is often intended to increase the discharge velocity and to direct the flow in one particular direction.
Frictional effects may sometimes be important, but usually they are neglected. However, the external work transfer is always assumed to be zero. It is also assumed that changes in thermal energy are significantly greater than changes in potential energy and therefore the latter can usually be neglected for the purpose of analysis.