Jeremy Fernsler shows how you can “cheat” an effect where an object dissolves or disintegrates into dust in Maya, using nParticles.
The tutorial covers pretty much everything, so if you are just starting out in Maya, this is a great follow-along. Jeremy walks through the entire project starting from using nParticles, Surface Emissions, Fields including turbulence, as well as driving parameters and in-render composites with image maps in Maya. The techniques used here are pretty straightforward and are useful in many other situations where effects might be needed.
More Resources, Object Dissolve, Fluids and Disintegration
If you want to dive further into some of the concepts for creating nParticle and fluid effects in Maya, here is a short list.
khalil khalilian walks through creating a tornado using Fluids with this tutorial.
eosacro offers a look into creating an effect where the Maya Fluids appear to be dissolving.
You are also able to use the MASH motion graphics toolkit in Maya to create particle-like effects.
Tobias Steiner walks us through how to create a Particle Morph Effect with Maya MASH which can easily be used to create an object dissolve.
and finally, you can dissolve type with MASH with this short 1 min tutorial.